Go ahead, think of the funniest word you can, the one that makes you laugh every time you hear it. Got it? Was it one of these: Nitwit? Waddle? Bebop? Egghead? Twerp?
According to a study published in Behaviour Research, those are just a few of the funniest words in the English language.
"A number of studies have taken to rating and creating databases of jokes in an effort to allow researchers disaggregate the various mechanisms that make them work," the researchers wrote. "A few studies have looked at single non-words, suggesting the absurdness of a non-word results in associated humor. None, to our knowledge, have focused on single English words."
The study consisted of 821 participants (average age 35, 58 percent female) who rated for humor 200 random words sampled from a collection of 5,000 words. Some of the words males rated as humorous included brand, corn, and weld, while some of the words females rated as humorous included giggle, humbug, and sweat. Both genders agreed that such words as fluff, prance, and tinker were humorous.
"The aim of providing this data is to help enrich the resources available for understanding the cognitive, developmental, and applied aspects of humor," the researchers wrote.
To find out all the rest of the humorous words (and the not humorous ones), read "Humor norms for 4,997 English words."
Jason Hensel is a graduate of the DCH improv training program and performs with .f.a.c.e. and the ’95 Bulls.