Ancient Jokes That Are Still Funny Today

A 10th century joke from a book of Anglo-Saxon poetry:

What hangs at a man’s thigh and wants to poke the hole that it’s often poked before?

A key.


An Egyptian joke that pre-dates the birth of Christ:

Man is even more eager to copulate than a donkey.

His purse is what restrains him.


A 1900 B.C. joke, the oldest ever found, from southern Iraq:

Something which has never occurred since time immemorial: a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.


A 4th-century joke from the oldest recorded joke book, The Philogelos:

A misogynist paid his last respects at the tomb of his dead wife.

At the tomb, someone asked him, “Who has gone to rest?”

He replied, “Me, not that I’m alone”.


A joke from a comedy called “The Honey Moon” (1805):

Rolando reverses his anti-marriage stance to wed Zamora because “she’s an angel”. To which sassy Volante quips:

“Ay, so are all women before marriage. And that’s the reason their husbands so wish them in Heaven afterwards”.


A 5th-century joke from “Philogelos (The Laughter Lover) by Hierocles and Philagrios:

A witty young student sold his books when he was short of money. He then wrote to his father: “Congratulate me father, I am already making money from my studies”.


An 18th-century joke from “A Burlesque Translation of Homer” by Thomas Bridges:

I’th’ int’rim, fond of michief telling,

The rainbow-goddess flies to Helen:

Most modern farts I ever knew,

When set on fire burn only blue,

Or simple red, but when behind

This nimble goddess lets out wind,

You see not only reds and blues,

But all the colours painters use.

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