Psychology researchers at the University of Warwick analyzed 5,000 terms and have now revealed the 12 funniest words in the English language. They attempted to find out which words truly make us chortle, in the new study.
Scientists rated them on their giggle factor by asking people on the Amazon Turk website to judge each word’s hilarity from one to five. They then collated and sorted the results.
“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” said Tomas Engelthaler, the study’s lead author, in a press 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 aspect of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”
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Here are the top 12 funniest words, with the funniest first:
So, by those results’ booty’ is perhaps a surprising winner but still warrants a chuckle every time you hear it.
Scientists found that the words that people were unfamiliar with were often found to be the funniest, which may explain why words like nitwit and twit ranked so highly.
On a broader level, the study authors also hope that analyzing what’s funny on such a nitty-gritty level can be helpful for researchers tackling the psychology of humor.