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The 11 Funniest Words in the World, According to Science
written by Sam Greenspan

I've spent the past 14 years working as a comedy writer and, in that time, I can't even begin to tabulate how much time I've spent trying to pick the *perfect* words for maximum humor impact.

Turns out I should've just channeled Bubba Sparxx or the Ying Yang Twins and called it a day.



Two psychologists from the University of Warwick in the U.K. recently published the results of their study (summary here; full dataset here), which attempted to quantify humor. They had test subjects all over the world rank the humorousness of 4,997 different words and, ultimately, found the universally funniest and least funny words in the English language. Maybe.

Here are the 11 funniest words in the world...
  1. Booty.

  2. Tit. "Titty" wasn't included, which is weird, because (I'd think) it's a much funnier version of the word.

  3. Hooter.

  4. Booby. I'm seeing a pattern emerge.

  5. Nitwit.

  6. Waddle.

  7. Twit. This is one of those words that makes British people lose their minds while everyone else looks on confused.

  8. Tinkle.

  9. Twerp.

  10. Egghead.

  11. (tie) Floozy and Oomph.

Words that just missed the cut: Bebop... pecker... ass... buffoon... cahoots... oink... crotch... and douche.

Here are how some other notably funny words finished:
  1. Cuckoo. Krusty the Clown would be devastated that this is the highest "comedy k"-heavy word on the list.

  2. Joke. If there are any bits of insight into human nature to glean from the list, I'd say they are: (1) people love slang term for body parts (2) we all hold ourselves to a high enough standard that someone simply saying "joke" isn't enough to make us ready to laugh.

  3. Fatty. Performed MUCH better than fat (3405th place).

  4. Muff. How did the best of the body part slang terms perform this poorly?

  5. Trump. The lowercase version "trump," but still.

  6. Seaman. Wrong. (By the way, "semen" was 564th.)

  7. Breast. It's safe to say that slang terms for "breast" got much better reactions.

  8. Bondage. This word had the largest male-slanted gender divide: Men think it's funny, women REALLY don't.

  9. Wiring. The innocuous, indifference-inspiring midpoint of the study. Half of words are funnier, half are less funny.

  10. N*****. There were 20 words that ranked less funny. Hopefully because of famous Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle comedy bits around the word and not, you know, the 2017 of it all.

  11. Rape. The least funny word in the entire study.

I really should've structured this post differently so it ended on the funny words, not the super depressing ones.

Anyway, I'm off to twittle my muff. (Am I doing this right?)


This post was originally published on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Misc.

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