“Yo’ mama” joke is actually older than yo’ mama
From schoolyard teasing to professional stand-up acts, the “yo mama” one-liner is a time-tested one-liner that has been around for ages. In fact, after scholars finished translating ancient tablets from Iraq, the “yo mama” joke may be older than any of us realized.
Yo’ mama’s so old, she has a picture of Moses in her yearbook
Ancient tablets found in Iraq were finally translated after years of research. The tablets dated back to 1500 BC and contained six riddles. Because some of the tablet was damaged and researchers were working with language from thousands of years ago, the translations aren’t perfect. There are only fragments of some, such as “… of your mother is by the one who has intercourse with her. What/who is it?”
The riddles weren’t exactly a stand-up routine, but they contained metaphors that would have been known by contemporary audiences.
Yo’ mama’s so old, her birth certificate is in Roman numerals
A Babylonian student is believed to have written the riddles onto the tablets, back before they could viral on YouTube or Facebook. The riddles weren’t meant to produce laughter, but contain life lessons and share age-old wisdom. The talk about someone’s mother made for a surprising find.
In addition to the mama joke, researchers believe there’s more than meets the eye. One line read: “The deflowered girl did not become pregnant. The un-flowered girl became pregnant. What is it?” The answer was “auxiliary forces.”
Yo’ mama’s so old, when she was in school there was no history class
A good mama joke would’ve been fine by itself, but apparently, researchers also deciphered the rest of the text. The subject matter on the ancient tablets would be familiar to modern audiences: beer and sex.
While the actual riddles won’t be showing up in stand-up routines anytime soon, it’s a fascinating glimpse at the humor of long ago. We might not understand the jokes of yesteryear, but we do appreciate the sentiment. Laughter truly is the best medicine.