Have you ever seen someone pulling funny faces or laughing hysterically? Have you ever wondered why we find certain situations so funny? Or, have you ever wondered why that funny feeling throughout your body after you laugh is referred to as your funny bone?
This article will take you through the journey of finding out why it’s called the funny bone and why it can be an enjoyable experience. Read on to find out more!
Why Is It Called Funny BoneHave you ever felt an uncomfortable sensation like a mild electric shock, normally in your elbow when you accidentally brush against it? This sensation is commonly known as the “funny bone”.
But have you ever wondered why it is called a funny bone?The funny bone is a nerve called the ulnar nerve, which runs from the neck, down the arm and to the fingers. When the funny bone is pressed or bumped, pressure or strain is applied against the ulnar nerve, resulting in a stinging sensation or an electric shock-like sensation in the elbow and in the affected arm.
Anatomy of the Funny BoneThe funny bone originates from two nerves in the neck, the medial cord and the musculocutaneous nerve, which then split into two branches when they reach the elbow area—the ulnar nerve branch and the radial nerve branch. The ulnar nerve is the one responsible for feeling the stinging, electric-like sensation.
It is the ulnar nerve which is identified as the funny bone. The ulnar nerve is a very sensitive nerve, so when pressure is applied to it, a jolting sensation is felt in the elbow region. This is why a shock sensation is often referred to as a “funny bone” sensation.
Though the sensation is uncomfortable, it should not cause permanent damage. The worst-case scenario would be a temporary numbness felt in the arm and fingers.
Origin of the Term “Funny Bone”It is not exactly known why the ulnar nerve is referred to as a “funny bone”.
It is believed, however, that the phrase was devised based on the reaction of the person who felt the sensation in the elbow. It is said that the sensation often results in a tickling or a strange feeling, and when people laugh at the same time that they feel the sensation, it was then associated with the phrase “funny bone.
“The phrase “funny bone” is believed to have been first used in the late 1800s. From then on, the phrase has become widely used to refer to the ulnar nerve in the elbow.