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I saw a sticker set being used on a popular social platform the other day that I found very interesting. They were pictures of food items, sweets mostly, and had words next to them that seemed to be portmanteaus mixing Japanese phrases with the names of the food. I was able to identify some:

  • picture: a candied apple
    caption: おかえリンゴ .
    my guess: a portmanteau of おかえり and りんご
  • picture: a piece of 羊羹
    caption: おはようかん.
    my guess: a portmanteau of おはよう and ようかん
  • picture: a piece of lemon meringue
    caption: おつかレモン
    my guess: a portmanteau of おつかれ and レモン
  • picture: some mochi
    caption: 餅ろん
    my guess: a portmanteau of もち and もちろん

Pretty straightforward so far, but then there is this one:

a piece of cake, captioned ケーキがいいね

picture: a piece of cake
caption: ケーキがいいね

After consulting a dictionary, I thought maybe it's a pun on 景気がいい, meaning, "the situation is good," or "business is good." I'm not very confident in this analysis, since I personally can't recall having come across this expression myself.

Sticking heads together with friends didn't turn up anything either, and the one Japanese person we were able to ask about this replied, "Well, cake is good." I don't think she understood our issue all that well.

What kind of pun could this be?

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I would say it is a pun on 景気が良い like you guessed.

Informally the long vowel mark ー is often used in place of the sound イ, for instance けいこ→けーこ.

The expression 景気がいい is used quite a lot. References:

Do all stickers use extremely simple words that any 5-year old would understand? If yes, then 景気 would stand out as a more difficult word and Earthliŋ's suggestion of 天気がいい would apply better, I guess.

  • Yes, the others seem to be simpler, which makes 景気 seem a bit odd. – waldrumpus May 23 '15 at 11:29
  • The other captions seem to preserve their constituent words exactly as they are, which is why I don't think 天気 fits here – waldrumpus May 23 '15 at 11:31
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    That is exactly how I learned the word 「景気」 when I was 6 or 7, possibly even younger. The guy at a neighborhood confectionary liked saying 「ケーキを食べて景気をつけよう!」 to his customers once in a while. (And that set the standard for my puns for good, sad to say.) – l'électeur May 23 '15 at 11:39
  • @l'électeur Nothing sad about that! I find English's lack of faith in puns disturbing :) Thanks for the anecdote, I think it shines a light on this answer that's relevant to the question. – waldrumpus May 23 '15 at 11:52
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    Yes ケーキ/景気 is a classic pun. それにしても、く、くだらない…(苦笑) – naruto May 23 '15 at 13:02

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