When it comes to enhancing the punchline of a joke, there ain’t nothing like a good old fashioned investigation of excruciating detail I tell you.
Science boffins have long tried to study the concept of humour and why, exactly, humans laugh at certain things. While the results are usually always subjective, a new study has shone a somewhat more definitive light on things.
A pair of researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick in the UK have determined, with some degree of precision, what the funniest word in the English language is.
The study gathered some 4,997 English words – a list accrued through prior studies – and asked some 821 participants to rate a random selection of 200 words from the pool on a scale of one (being not funny) all the way up to five (being snort-laugh inducing).
The result of that? “Booty.”
Booty is, according to the study, the funniest word in the English language. It’s hard to disagree with that one on hand, but on the other apparently no one involved in the study has ever played the Penis game in public.
Booty came out with an average rating of 4.32, securing it the top-spot in the yuck-stakes, above fellow contenders like “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” and “nitwit.”
Conversely, on the opposite end of the scale, the study determined that the least funny word in the English language was “rape.” So, maybe take that into account, every white male open mic comic ever.
The study also broke down participants’ responses down the male/female line, ranking what words each gender found funny. The ones every apparently agrees to be good and chuckle-worthy? “Chug,” “fluff,” and “scrotum.”
Can’t argue with any of those. Classics, all three.
‘Course, like any scientific study with a limited feedback pool, these results have their limitations – how “penis,” “cumquat,” or “dangle” didn’t make it into the top 15 is beyond me.
Still, until another study comes along and proves otherwise, consider this gospel: Booty reigns supreme.