Wet Willy

Contents: Meaning | Origin | Spread


What does Wet Willy mean?

Wet Willy also written as Wet Willie is the act of moistening one’s finger with saliva and then putting it in someone else’s ear canal without their knowledge.

It is mainly an innocent joke, prank and giving one another “wet willys” is mainly popular amongst children.

It is a general belief that “wet willys” can cause ear infection, whilst it isn’t true.

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What's the origin of Wet Willy?

Majority of people know the joke from one of the episodes of the children’s TV show, SpongeBob SquarePants, in which SpongeBob played it on Patrick.

However, the origin seems to be older than that; it dates back approximately to the early 19th century, but it just lied dormant for a while.

The term was resurrected when, in the 23rd episode of the 3rd season of The Simpsons, Bart learns about “wet willys” and tries to play it on others.

Spread and Usage

How did Wet Willy spread?

“Wet Willy” was promoted by numerous comedy shows and sketches consistently, henceforth its worldwide presence  and popularity.

The term also earned its first entry on Urban Dictionary in 2003, submitted by the user stamm.

An American band from Alabama also decided on the name Wet Willie for their band name and in 1974 they reached No. 10 on Billboard Hot 100 chart with their best-known song Keep On Smilin’.

External References

Published: 11/18/2020 by | Last updated: 08/23/2021 | 5,137 views | Report error

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1 comment

Anonymous posted on 12-5-2020:

The various claims that “wet willy” originated in the 1980’s or 1990’s
are wrong. It was in common use in England at least as early as the
1960’s. I clearly remember a fellow lacrosse player, during a
beer-soaked evening, announcing to a friend “you deserve a wet willy,”
sticking a finger into his beer glass, and then carefully inserting it
into his own ear. The resulting hilarity, and his uncomprehending
inebriated 2face, have remained with me for almost 60 years.

What do you think? Any additions friend?

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