Science

Science reveals what the funniest word is, and it isn’t covfefe

Quick, what’s the funniest word you can think of?

If you said “booty”, science is officially backing you up. Because according to a new study, the funniest word of all is “booty”.

Many will beg to differ — what about fart, boob, poop, and dickhead? Well, nobody’s saying those aren’t funny anymore. In fact, the scientists behind the study published a helpful list of the funniest (and least funny) words.

Featured on the least funny list, are words like rape, torture, war, and pain. None of those are particularly funny, and the scientific research supports this.

And on the funny list? Booty came in at the top, as you already know. But rounding out the list were some other bona fide classics, such as tit, booby, hooter, nitwit, and twit. All of which are funny, admittedly.

But what do scientists know about humour, really? Well, it’s not like a bunch of guys in lab coats just got together in a room and started writing out their favourite words on a whiteboard. Instead, they studied how people responded to a huge list of words — with more than 5,000 entries on the word list, and more than 800 people participating in the study.

They also looked at some other points of interest, such as how the funniness of a word might vary across gender lines, for example.

So what words do men and women most agree on when it comes to humour? According to this study, the words “scrotum”, “chugg”, and “fluff” were all considered funny across gender lines.

Male/ female gender humour scale

Really? “Fluff” and “chugg” are considered funny? I mean, I understand why “scrotum” is on the list. But fluff?

Humour is an evasive thing, and if one thing’s for sure, it’s that nearly everyone who reads about this study will want to quibble with the results.

And there are also caveats as to how reliable this study might be — it was carried out using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which means the participants are not only anonymous, but also probably skew towards being a young and liberal demographic.

That said, I think we can all agree on one thing: booty is funny. Just say it to yourself a few times: booty booty booty. See? It’s funny.

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