Thanks for asking this question. I looked into this matter: In biblical Hebrew קערה is a dish or plate (Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, 7.273). Apparently מנקית was used for bowl in BH. I'm not sure what Mishnaic Hebrew did, but apparently sometimes they transcribed a Greek word for bowl, κλεπσύδρα, with חלף סדרא (M. Perez Fernandez, Introd. Grammar of Rabbinic Hebrew, 12). At Exod 25:29 the Jews who translated the Hebrew into Greek used τὰ τρυβλία αὐτῆς , "its plates," for קערתיו.
I hear קערה pronounced here as ke-RAH, but on Forvo, I hear קערה pronounced as kei-a-RAH: http://forvo.com/word/%D7%A7%D7%A2%D7%A8%D7%94/#he Which is correct? thanks :)
The word you may be thinking of, רקיע, is different. I'm not aware of rabbis doing a pun with the two words. In general Aramaic רקיע is "sky" and in Palestinian Targumic Aramaic it occurs with the sense "mantle" (a covering). Source: Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon.