Aug. 1 (UPI) — A new scientific survey suggests “booty” is the funniest word in the English language.
Humor mostly eludes scientific analysis. But while formulas fail to render new jokes, science can identity what people find funny — like words.
Researchers at the University of Warwick used an internet survey to identify the funniest words in the English language. Psychologists presented 5,000 randomly selected words to 800 online volunteers.
Survey takers rated each word’s hilarity on a scale of one to five, five being the most humorous.
Researchers shared the results of the survey this week in the journal Behavior Research Methods.
After booty, the next nine funniest words include: tit, booby, hooter, nitwit, twit, waddle, tinkle, bebop, egghead, ass and twerp.
Each survey participant shared their age, gender and highest level of education. The findings showed men tend to find sexual words funnier than women. Men also found words such as weld, prod, corn and racoon more humorous, while women were more likely to appreciate the humor of words like ennui, holder, momma and sod.
Younger survey participants, ages 18 to 32, thought goatee, joint and gangster were especially funny, while older respondents were more likely to laugh at words like squint, jingle, burlesque and pong.
“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” lead study author Tomas Engelthaler said in a news release. “We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own. It turns out that indeed is the case. Humor is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”