Word play or wordplay is a literary technique and a form of wit in which the words that are used become the main subject of the work, primarily for the purpose of intended effect or amusement. Puns, phonetic mix-ups such as spoonerisms, obscure words and meanings, clever rhetorical excursions, oddly formed sentences, double entendres, and telling character names]clarification needed[ (such as in The Importance of Being Earnest; 'Ernest' is a name that is phonetically identical to the adjective 'earnest') are common examples of word play.
Word play is quite common in oral cultures as a method of reinforcing meaning.
The term nursery rhyme is used for traditional poems and songs for young children in Britain and many other countries, but usage only dates from the late 18th/early 19th century and in North America the term "Mother Goose Rhymes", introduced in the mid-1700s, is still often used.
Children's song may be a nursery rhyme set to music, a song that young children invent and share among themselves, or a modern creation intended for entertainment, use in the home, or education. Although children’s songs have been recorded and studied in some cultures more than others, they appear to be universal in human society.
Pioneers of the academic study of children’s culture Iona and Peter Opie divided children’s songs into those taught to children by adults, which when part of a traditional culture they saw as nursery rhymes, and those that children taught to each other, which formed part of the independent culture of childhood. A further use of the term is for songs written for the entertainment, or education, of children, usually in the modern era. In practice none of these categories is entirely discreet, since, for example, children often reuse and adapt nursery rhymes and many songs now considered as traditional were deliberately written by adults for commercial ends.