What is a joke? History and meaning of the word

If all residents of the CIS countries ask a question about what a joke is, then almost everyone will tell you that this is a funny story with an unexpected ending. But do they know what the original meaning of the word is? Or from which language was it borrowed? We think not. To be honest, we also didn’t know anything about this for a long time and only recently became fully acquainted with this topic. In this article we will share with you interesting information about the history of the joke, as well as its genres and types. We assure that after reading this publication you will truly know what an anecdote is!

What is a joke?

Word history

The meaning and significance of the anecdote is really a very interesting topic, which we will definitely pay attention to in the following sections. But before we get to it, you need to familiarize yourself with the origin of the word "anecdote." This may surprise someone, but “anecdote” is not an original Russian word. In fact, it was borrowed by us from the French language (anecdote), and the French, in turn, borrowed it from the Greek, where ἀνοκδοtoto means “unpublished”.

Initial meaning

Initially, the French called anecdotes not any funny humor, but short stories from the life of a particular historical person. The first anecdote of this type is the work of Procopius of Caesarea "Secret History". Later jokes began to call small stories of playful nature, usually on a political theme. They were especially popular in Western Europe during the Renaissance (then such stories were known as fablio and facies). In Russia, the anecdote became popular in the second half of the XVIII century. Beginning in the second half of the XIX century, jokes began to imply funny stories on the most diverse subjects.

Meaning of the word "joke"

First appearance

Answering the question of what an anecdote is and what its meaning is very easy, but to try to understand when the anecdotal story first appeared with a hint of humor is not an easy task. What is there, even experienced professionals can not give an exact answer to this question. The problem is that this kind of humorism refers to oral folk art, and therefore there is nothing surprising in the fact that now there are so few anecdotes from antiquity.

Form of anecdote

With the meaning of the word "anecdote" already figured out, now we should tell about its forms and types. The beauty of the joke is that it is not bound by the framework of any literary genre. The anecdote can be made in the form of a short story, a poem or a small phrase. In addition, this kind of story can even exist in the form of a novel. For example, the work of the writer Vladimir Voinovich "The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of the Soldier Ivan Chonkin" refers to the genre of anecdote novel. The form of anecdote plays a secondary role. His main goal is to cause laughter and positive emotions in the recipient.

The meaning of the word "anecdote"

Jokes, popular in the territory of the CIS countries

You already know what an anecdote is and what its forms are. Now it's time to talk about the themes of these stories, which are most popular in Russia and neighboring countries:

  1. Anecdotes about Vovochka. The actor named Vovochka, who all the time gets into ridiculous and comical situations, acts as the actor.
  2. Anecdotes about her husband and lover. All the jokes of this type are tied around one situation: the spouse returns from a business trip and finds his wife with her lover.
  3. Anecdotes with characters of children's literature and Soviet animation.The protagonists are often such characters as Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Donkey Eeyore, Crocodile Gena and Cheburashka.
  4. Jokes about blondes. The main backbone of this kind of stories are stereotypes about the stupidity of women with light-colored hair.
  5. Anecdotes about students. The main topics of such humorous singers are session, offsets and poor life in a hostel.
  6. Anecdotes about the "new Russian". They received particular popularity in the 90s, when the notion of “new Russian” (a rich man who made a big fortune by criminal means) was used in everyday life.
  7. Anecdotes about the Chukchi. The humorous component in them is based on a play on words and their wrong pronunciation.
  8. Political jokes. The main characters of such stories are the real political personalities of the past and present.
  9. Historical jokes. These are stories about various famous historical figures and eras (sometimes intersect with the previous topic).
  10. Jokes about nationalities. As in the case with the blondes' humoresques, here the basis for jokes is the stereotypes that have developed among the people (in this case stereotypes about other nations). These include jokes about Armenians, Georgians, Jews and many others.
Definition of the word "anecdote"

Now you know the true definition of the word "anecdote", its forms, types and themes. We hope that the information provided in the article was useful to you, and you learned a lot of interesting things for yourself.

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