Yo Mama Jokes History
Sunday, May 28, 2006
So, how did this Yo Mama thing begin?? Well, from what I understand it is an African-American oral tradition in which two acquaintances go head to head in a contest of "trash-talk". They take turns insulting; "cracking", "ranking", "sparking", "janking", "snapping", "checking", or "riding" — on their opponents mother until one of them has no comeback.

This is called playing the dozens or doin' the dozens. The dozens is a contest of verbal ability and self control. It takes great mind power to keep it going. Defeat can be humiliating, but a skilled contender, win or lose, may gain respect. The dozens is one of the contributing elements in the development of hip hop, especially the practice of freestyle battling. The opponent is often considered being served.

The dozens can be a harmless game of casual, good-natured jibes, an exchange of malicious insults, taunts or, if tempers flare, a prelude to physical violence. While the competition on its face is usually light-hearted, smiles sometimes mask real tensions.

The term the dozens is believed to refer to the devaluing on the auction block of slaves who were past their prime, deformed, aged, or no longer capable of hard labor after years of back-breaking toil. These slaves often were sold by the dozen.

In "Still Laughing to Keep from Crying: Black Humor", African-American author and professor Mona Lisa Saloy writes:

"The dozens has its origins in the slave trade of New Orleans where deformed slaves—generally slaves punished with dismemberment for disobedience—were grouped in lots of a 'cheap dozen' for sale to slave owners. For a Black to be sold as part of the 'dozens' was the lowest blow possible."

"Yo' momma" is a common, widely recognized retort in slang. It is a cryptic and sometimes comical allusion to the dozens.

Children have been known to express contempt or defiance by reciting a short poem that refers to the dozens, but in which the insults are mostly implied.

So, there you have it. A little history on the yo mama joke....

Information from: Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia

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posted by K.C. at 5:24 AM | Permalink


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