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The Scientifically-Proven Funniest Words In The English Language

02/08/2017 10:21 AM IST | Updated 03/08/2017 1:49 AM IST

Booty.

Tit.

Booby.

Waddle.

Are you laughing yet?

You should be, according to new peer-reviewed research by a UK university which revealed these as some of the funniest words in the English language.

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Young people are more amused by goatees and gangsters than the older generations.

For the study, 821 people were asked to rank hundreds of words on a scale of '1' (humourless) to '5' (humourous) to reveal the most giggle-inducing words.

The results were published in Behavior Research Methods on Tuesday.

'Booty' topped the list as the most humourous word, followed by 'tit', 'booby', 'hooter' and 'nitwit'.

The study also identified the words comedians should probably steer clear of if they don't want their jokes to flop, with violent words coming in last on the humour scale.

Unsurprisingly, 'rape' was seen as the least amusing word choice, followed by 'torture', 'torment', 'gunshot', 'death' and 'nightmare'.

Most Humourous Words In The English Language:

  1. Booty
  2. Tit
  3. Booby
  4. Hooter
  5. Nitwit
  6. Twit
  7. Waddle
  8. Tinkle
  9. Behop
  10. Egghead
  11. Ass
  12. Twerp

Lead author Tomas Engelthaler said the idea for the research came about from the researchers' curiosity.

"We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own," the University of Warwick psychologist explained.

"It turns out that indeed is the case.

"Humour is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations."

But like all humour, not everyone got the joke.

While both men and women were equally amused by words like 'scrotum', 'buttocks' and 'fluff', men found other sexual words -- such as 'bondage' and 'orgy' -- much funnier than women.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sometimes a word is all it takes.

Women, on the other hand, laughed a lot more at words like 'giggle', 'beast', 'sweat' and 'sod'.

The study surveyed people across a broad range of ages, from 18 to 78 and found that while many humourous words defied age, the phrases 'goatee' and 'ganster' appealed more to a younger crowd.

Some more quaint words like 'frock' gave young people a giggle, but others such as 'housewife', 'caddie', 'willow' and 'bathing' appealed more to the older generations.

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