An innuendo is a hint, insinuation or intimation about a person or thing, especially of a denigrating or a derogatory nature. It can also be a remark or question, typically disparaging (also called insinuation), that works obliquely by allusion. In the latter sense the intention is often to insult or accuse someone in such a way that one's words, taken literally, are innocent.
According to the Advanced Oxford Learner's Dictionary, an innuendo is "an indirect remark about somebody or something, usually suggesting something bad, mean or rude", such as: "innuendos about her private life" or "The song is full of sexual innuendo".
The term sexual innuendo has acquired a specific meaning, namely that of a "risqué" double entendre by playing on a possibly sexual interpretation of an otherwise innocent uttering. For example: "We need to go deeper" can be seen as either a request for further inquiry, or a request to go deeper into an intimate part.
In the context of defamation law, an innuendo meaning is one which is not directly contained in the words complained of, but which would be understood by those reading it based on special knowledge.
Television and other media
The figure on the right or above shows a male cat paying a "call" on a female cat, who then serves up kittens, insinuating that the "result" of children is predicated on a male "call".
Numerous television programs targeted at child audiences often use innuendos in attempt to entertain adolescent/adult audiences without exceeding their network's censorship policies.
Many American primetime shows use an extensive amount of innuendo to the point that it is rated TV-PG/14 D for dialogue. Shows such as The Simpsons, Futurama, Son of the Beach, The Office, The Big Bang Theory, King of the Hill, House, Beavis and Butt-head, Everybody Hates Chris, George Lopez, American Dad!, Tosh.0, 30 Rock, Bob's Burgers and especially Family Guy ,South Park and Bob's Burgers have done this. Also, many radio shows, including the Bobby Bones Show, the Rick and Bubba Show, The Gallo Radio Show, and most of the songs played on Southern Crossroads are notable for this.
A character in the American sitcom Scrubs, The Todd, is known for his constant innuendo, even shown waiting around corners for "set ups", opportunities to make innuendos.
On The Scott Mills Show on BBC Radio 1, listeners are asked to send in clips from radio and TV with innuendos in a humorous context, a feature known as "Innuendo Bingo". Presenters and special guests fill their mouths with water and listen to the clips, and the last person to spit the water out with laughter wins the game.