Where does yo mama jokes come from?
We have been insulting moms since the beginning of time, apparently.
Researchers found a Babylonian stone tablet from 3500 BCE containing a number of jokes and riddles. One wisecrack asks who—or what, as the translation is open to interpretation—has had intercourse with "your mother." The punchline, unfortunately, has been lost to time.
The great Shakespeare himself also loved a good yo mama joke. In Titus Andronicus, when brothers Chiron and Demetrius accuse an interloping Aaron of having "undone" their mother, Aaron shoots back: "I have done thy mother." Ah, snap!
Contemporary yo mama jokes are closely associated with a black male youth word game called the dozens, where opponents trade insults about each other's mothers, or yo mama in black vernacular. Sociologists have documented the dozens since the 1930s. Yo mama jokes tend to mock the target's mother's weight, intelligence, appearance, or age, and are set up with Yo mama so...
Here are some classics:
- Yo mama so fat, she fell in love and broke it.
- Yo mama so stupid, I said Kool-Aid and she jumped through the wall.
- Yo momma's so ugly, she made an onion cry.
- Yo mama so old, she knew Burger King when he was just a prince.
A cousin to yo mama jokes are claims someone has slept with another's mother (e.g., Yeah, sorry I'm late to work, bro, but your mother just wouldn't let me go to bed.
Yo mama jokes became a thing in the 1990s and early 2000s, so much so that in 2006–07 MTV aired a show called Yo Momma, which was essentially a televised version of the dozens.
Who uses yo mama jokes?
Yo mama jokes are generally harmless.
Mostly, people want to show off their wits more than intending any actual ill-will. It's unclear why people enjoy the so-bad-it's-good humor in online listicles and videos of yo mama jokes online ... but they do. But, we guess "Yo mama so fat she sat on a rainbow and Skittles popped out" is clever, we'll admit that.
Your mother, yo mama, and yer mum are variants of yo mama in this joke genre.
My brother is telling me “yo mama” jokes and “yo mama so fat when she died she broke the stairway to heaven”
@LiaSforza, May, 2018
the only bad thing about being a lesbian is that if i have children they will be twice as susceptible to yo mama jokes
Our personal favourite option, however, is asking Alexa: “Tell me a ‘yo mama’ joke.”...Rather than responding with anything rude, Alexa will instead say something positive and uplifting about how great your mother is.
Shivali Best, The Mirror, April, 2018