Puns are involved whenever one word is substituted for another because they both sound the same. Our dreaming unconscious likes to match words that have similar sounds and assign them similar meanings. To dream about a ‘sun’, for example, might be saying something about a ‘son’. Of course, such comparisons fall flat when applied to another language. In Spanish for example, the word for ‘sun’ is ‘sol’ and the word for ‘son’ is ‘hijo’. To dream about a ‘sun’ might mean something about money in some Latin America countries, because a ‘sol’ is a unit of currency. Puns are thus only meaningful in their native language. That’s why some translations of ancient dream texts seem so incomprehensible to us today. An old Egyptian papyrus states that to dream about buttocks signify that a dreamer will soon be an orphan. This makes no sense unless we realize the word for buttocks and orphan sound the same in Egyptian. 

Learning to listen for possible puns can enrich your understanding of dreams. If you dream of holding some coins in your hand, your dream may be suggesting that you are concerned with a monetary issue. But let’s take a look at some puns that could be created with the imagery of coins. If you were to examine those coins and discover there were no pennies among them, what might your dream be suggesting? Since another name for pennies is ‘cents’, maybe your dream is drawing attention to some situation that makes ‘no sense’.

Are there other possibilities for puns to be found with the presence of coins in a dream? Another way of referring to a group of coins is to call them ‘change’. Categorized in this way, the coins could be making you aware of change that is already present or maybe needs to happen. If all the coins are of small denominations, a small change may be indicated. If the coins are larger in size or denomination, a big change could be suggested. What if all the coins were very shiny? You got it – the change is quite new.

If someone gave you some coins that are reduced in size, could they be short-changing you in some way? Imagine that your dream coins are lying on a table. Your dream might be reminding you that you’ve tabled some change that needs to be started. If the coins are visible, but not accessible, you could be recognizing the need for change, but think it’s beyond your grasp or you can’t get in touch with it.

What other possibilities could be represented through coin imagery? If the coins are in those brown paper wrappers that banks put them in, the imagery could now be saying something about a ‘roll’ of coins. Let’s substitute ‘role’ for ‘roll’ and now we have ‘role changes’ signified. If we switched the money imagery to British bank notes – it shouldn’t be too difficult to recognize that the dreamer may now be dealing with a weight issue, since British paper money is expressed in ‘pounds’.

I encourage you to read your dream out loud and listen to the words you use to describe your dream. Puns are a significant part of the language of the dreaming mind, and identifying them can go a long way toward gaining insight into the dream.