World’s Ten Oldest Jokes

I have subscribed to Reuters Oddly Enough Report via email. In a recent one, I got this news. Through that odd news I came across world’s ten oldest jokes as discovered by a study commissioned by television channel Dave of UK. Here are the jokes.

1. Something which has never occurred since time immemorial: a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap (1900 BC – 1600 BC Sumerian Proverb Collection 1.12-1.13)

2. 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 (An abridged version first found in 1600 BC on the Westcar Papryus)

3. Three ox drivers from Adab were thirsty: one owned the ox, the other owned the cow and the other owned the wagon’s load. The owner of the ox refused to get water because he feared his ox would be eaten by a lion; the owner of the cow refused because he thought his cow might wander off into the desert; the owner of the wagon refused because he feared his load would be stolen. So they all went. In their absence the ox made love to the cow which gave birth to a calf which ate the wagon’s load. Problem: Who owns the calf?! (1200 BC)

4. A woman who was blind in one eye has been married to a man for 20 years. When he found another woman he said to her, “I shall divorce you because you are said to be blind in one eye.” And she answered him: “Have you just discovered that after 20 years of marriage!?” (Egyptian circa 1100 BC)

5. Odysseus tells the Cyclops that his real name is nobody. When Odysseus instructs his men to attack the Cyclops, the Cyclops shouts: “Help, nobody is attacking me!” No one comes to help. (Homer. The Odyssey 800 BC)

6. Question: What animal walks on four feet in the morning, two at noon and three at evening? Answer: Man. He goes on all fours as a baby, on two feet as a man and uses a cane in old age (Appears in Oedipus Tyrannus and first performed in 429 BC)

7. Man is even more eager to copulate than a donkey – his purse is what restrains him (Egyptian, Ptolemaic Period 304 BC – 30 BC)

8. Augustus was touring his Empire and noticed a man in the crowd who bore a striking resemblance to himself. Intrigued he asked: “Was your mother at one time in service at the Palace?” “No your Highness,” he replied, “but my father was.” (Credited to the Emperor Augustus 63 BC – 29 AD)

9. Wishing to teach his donkey not to eat, a pedant did not offer him any food. When the donkey died of hunger, he said “I’ve had a great loss. Just when he had learned not to eat, he died.” (Dated to the Philogelos 4th /5th Century AD)

10. Asked by the court barber how he wanted his hair cut, the king replied: “In silence.” (Collected in the Philogelos or “Laughter-Lover” the oldest extant jest book and compiled in the 4th/5th Century AD)

P.S. Thank God our sense of humor has evolved since then. 🙂

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40 thoughts on “World’s Ten Oldest Jokes

  1. @Dinesh Thanks!

    @Nita Yes maybe. These jokes are really PJs.

    @Vishesh Exactly!

    @Taju Seems to be so. 😀

    @Sakhi Kuch to kaho! Are u speechless with shock at the PJs?

    @Sraikh Welcome to my blog! I would chose number 8. 😀 Keep hopping here 🙂

    @Vimal Really?????? I think u must be in a thinking mood beforehand 🙂 else these are just bad PJs.

    @Kris Really sad!

  2. Joke no. 5 seems to have evolved to this:
    3 friends…Somebody, Nobody and Mad. Somebody and Nobody gets into a fight and finally Nobody is killed. Mad calls the police and says “Sir, Somebody killed Nobody.” “Mister, are you mad?” Yes, I am Mad” hahahahaha 😐 saddest joke ever!

    guess its true that history repeats itself…and is always worse and violent than the previous time 😀

  3. @Arvind I have linked it. U can read it now 🙂

    @Priya LOL 😀 “worse and violent” indeed!

    @Nikhil U would have been fed to the lions 😛

  4. @Pavan Ohh I kinda liked the 8th one.

    @Manasa 😀 most people liked the 10th one.

    @Harsha 1st one rocked??? I couldnt get the humor in it at all!

    @Swathi Sophisticated!!!! LOL they are all just very poor jokes.

    @Adarsh Long time no see!! how u been? All of them are pathetic!

  5. I liked 1,3,5,7,9 and loved 2,4,6,8,10 although 1,2,3,4,5 didn’t make me laugh as much as 6,7,8,9,10. 😛
    Hey! Nice ones. Although jokes have become more crude nowadays. 🙂

  6. No actually i did laugh on some of them and then i realised that those were the jokes on which ladies are not suppose to laugh 😉 🙂 u you, unlady like n all! 😀 😀

  7. Here’s is one I really like:

    Poor man’s Virus—–>

    VARNING: MinnySoda Compewtr Virus

    Ve haf just sent you da NORVEGIAN VIRUS. Since ve do not haf any programing xperience and do not know how to actually demage your computir, dis Virus verks on da honor system. Please forward dis Virus to eferyvone on your mailing list and den manually delete all of da files on your hard drive.

    Tank you for your cooperation,

    Sven and Ole

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