from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A point on the elbow where the ulnar nerve runs close to the surface and produces a sharp tingling sensation if knocked against the bone.
  • noun A sense of humor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The place at the elbow where the ulnar nerve passes by the internal condyle of the humerus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun figuratively One's sense of humor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a point on the elbow where the ulnar nerve passes near the surface; a sharp tingling sensation results when the nerve is knocked against the bone


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  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


    Etymology: from the tingling felt when it is struck

    Date: 1840

    1 : the place at the back of the elbow where the ulnar nerve rests against a prominence of the humerus

    2 : a sense of humor

    I just gave my funny bone a whack and there was surprisingly little humor in the humerus.

    February 11, 2008