funny bone
Posted: 23 May 2018 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  343
Joined  2007-02-24

I’m watching a college baseball game and a hit ball struck the pitcher around the elbow. The announcers mentioned that it might have hit his “funny bone”. Checking it out, I was surprised how far back the expression goes. Online Etymology Dictionary has this:

Funny bone “elbow end of the humerus” (where the ulnar nerve passes relatively unprotected) is from 1826, so called for the tingling sensation when struck.

Collins Dictionary has this, which I’d bet is more correct than the weird feeling of being hit there or bumping the elbow into something:

Word origin of ‘funny bone’
from its reaction to impact, but prob. suggested also by its relation to the humerus (hence, “humorous”)

I would imagine everyone has experienced the feeling, and it sure doesn’t feel funny at the time. Yet, some do laugh in a painful way.

[ Edited: 23 May 2018 10:38 AM by Eyehawk ]
Posted: 30 May 2018 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  885
Joined  2007-02-07

Aren’t you ignoring the fact that “funny” often simply means “odd,” especially when speaking of physical sensations? “My stomach feels funny” is certainly not referring to humor in any way. Getting hit on the funny bone isn’t funny, but it does feel decidedly odd. I don’t feel like we need to find any humerus in it.

Posted: 30 May 2018 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  1644
Joined  2007-03-21
happydog - 30 May 2018 07:04 AM

I don’t feel like we need to find any humerus in it.

Good one!