Humour, much like the English language itself, is a forever-evolving thing.
What’s funny today may not work quite so well tomorrow, as anyone who has ever watched a Harry Enfield sketch show would attest.
So when loaded got wind of fresh research claiming to reveal the 12 funniest words in the English language today, a sense of intrigue spread throughout the office. What words made the cut and what would they say about society today?
The study, put together by University of Warwick researchers Tomas Engelthaler and Thomas Hills, saw 821 participants quizzed on the words they felt were finniest using a very specific method.
They were first asked to rate 11 calibrator words that had attracted notable scores during a pilot test and included such classics as “drought” and “turd”.
They were then asked to rate the funniness of 200 words chosen at random from a pool of 5000. Based on ther scores and immediate reactions, the following words was rated as funniest:
The presence of the word “booty” isn’t a massive surprise but one thing is for sure: Chris Waddle won’t be happy with the outcome of this study.
In an interesting twist, the research also revealed the 12 least humourous words in the English language with a list that’s every bit as grim as you might have expected:
Wow. So basically, the topics of the standard Frankie Boyle stand-up gig. But the findings didn’t even there. Here are the words men found funnier than women:
Who would have thought men preferred orgies to women? And these are the 12 words women found more amusing than men:
“Sod” is certainly an interesting one and a word that can be used to sum up plenty of blokes, that’s for sure.
These were the words both men and women scored similarly on in terms of amusement:
Nice to see we are united in our appreciation of the word “scrotum”.
And these are the words 18-32 year olds found funniest:
We can only assume the “joint” in question is one of the medicinal variety.
Those aged 33 to 78, meanwhile, got the giggles from the following:
Bathing? That’s hilarious. Possibly.
The researcher’s summarised their findings thusly:
“The database we present here offers a basis for studying humour in perhaps a highly rudimentary ‘fruit fly’ version, at the level of a single word.
“If single words have reliable humour ratings, they provide humour in miniature, allowing us to investigate humour in relation to the many existing lexical norms.”
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.