World's oldest joke traced back to 1900 BC

LONDON (Reuters) - The world's oldest recorded joke has been traced back to 1900 BC and suggests toilet humor was as popular with the ancients as it is today.

It is a saying of the Sumerians, who lived in what is now southern Iraq and goes: "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap."

It heads the world's oldest top 10 joke list published by the University of Wolverhampton Thursday.

A 1600 BC gag about a pharaoh, said to be King Snofru, comes second -- "How do you entertain a bored pharaoh? You sail a boatload of young women dressed only in fishing nets down the Nile and urge the pharaoh to go catch a fish."

The oldest British joke dates back to the 10th Century and reveals the bawdy face of the Anglo-Saxons -- "What hangs at a man's thigh and wants to poke the hole that it's often poked before? Answer: A key.";_ylt=As5lr6jhoR4gb...

No votes yet

Here's another from about 600 B.C. from Greece: Ulysses is becalmed on his ship and the sails are just flapping, going nowhere. What does the wily one do to get the ship moving again? He hangs an onion up behind the sail. Get it?

Aristophanes, the comic writer, was full of scatological humor, kind of like a fourth-grade classroom. Scata, by the way, means 'shit' in Greek.

About the onion and the wind.

What do you get when you mix Viagra and baked beans?

A stiff wind.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.