News

These are the funniest words in the English language, according to an in-depth study

Posted by
Gary Ogden
Published

I’d say I’m a fully-formed human, I doubt I’ve got much growing to do left, apart from on my gigantic biceps, obviously. I say this, because yes, my appearance would tell you that I am an adult, but I also like to say silly words like “willy” and “tit” and “wee-wee” quite often.

It seems some other fully-grown humans are also interested in this type of childish behavior, as they’ve carried out an in-depth study on the funniest words in the English language. Researchers at the University of Warwick studied 5000 words for a paper in Research Digest, and worked out once and for all, which words were most likely to make you laugh, and I’ll tell you now: the results are pretty spot-on.

Here are the top 12 words, ranked in order of funny:

Booty, Tit, Booby, Hooter, Nitwit, Twit, Waddle, Tinkle, Bebop, Egghead, Ass and Twerp

Yes, well done, I am laughing. Although my order would differ: I think bebop is the funniest, then hooter, then probably tit, twerp, booby and the rest. Still, all very funny, I must agree (aside from the omission of poo, which is actually the funniest word).

They then looked at which words were funnier to men, and again, the results do not disappoint:

Bondage, Birthmark, Orgy, Brand, Chauffeur, Doze, Buzzard, Czar, Weld, Prod, Corn, Raccoon

Suddenly these previously unfunny words are now hilarious to me and I cannot stop laughing at chauffeur, corn and weld – oh god weld is absolutely killing me. Birthmark? Don’t even get me started.

Similarly, the words that resonated more strongly with women’s laughter glands (these are a thing), were as follows:

Giggle, Beast, Circus, Grand, Juju, Humbug, Slicker, Sweat, Ennui, Holder, Momma, Sod

Fantastic stuff, beast is brilliant, sod and slicker are very pleasing to me, and I will now never be able to see the word holder without laughing.

Next up, the words that showed the most similarity between the sexes. There’s some good’uns right here, no mistake:

Chug, Fluff, Scrotum, Jabber, Joke, Buttocks, Boon, Yank, Tinker, Prance

Prance has long been one of my favourite words, also scrotum, and I now have a newfound appreciation for tinker. God this is all so great.

What was the point of all of this though? Well, apart from making me laugh, it was supposedly done in order to help other research into what makes us laugh – a data-set for future experiments, basically. I mean, I’ve always been on the opinion that you don’t need to study humour or critique comedy – something is either funny or it’s not, and it completely depends on the person. Maybe singing “I’M TELLING ON YOU FOR DOING A POO IN THE LOO AT HALF PAST TWO” mightn’t make some people laugh, but you better believe that’s gonna get me going.

Either way, my day’s certainly been brightened by my previously undiscovered fondness for the word birthmark. It make me tinkle, I’m such a nitwit.

Topics

Share this article

Author

Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", PDAs, not having eczema anymore, hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the eczema thing though. @garyblogden

Related Posts