Talk:Dozens (game)

Active discussions


Wikipedians, in general, are racist. This is not at all a thing done only be African Americans. Randomfrenchie 20:20, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

The user that added the template actually says on their talk page that Wikipedia is skewed towards the white population- but yes I agree, I'm removing that template. 04:19, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
 yeah, i'm white, and i'm pretty good @ this  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:45, 23 November 2008 (UTC) 

Sort of connects into what I was going to ask, in a way, even though I could equally argue that's perhaps "racism" in the other direction, but I don't know. The question leading to a potential addition to the article is whether there isn't there something quite like that, but of a white hillbilly tradition? Battles of improvised rhyming insulting phrases sung more or less as in a square-dance-ish rhythm, perhaps with banjos accompanying? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:42, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Etymololgy of the Term "The Dozens"Edit

I'm a bit confused - why is this called "The Dozens?" I've seen this trash-talking/comebacks, etc.. and have participated in it. I've NEVER heard it called The Dozens or Playing the Dozens? Unless someone can offer a good reason for this title, I suggest it be changed. At least add and "Etymology" section. I'm also confused as to why this has an African-American history section attached to it. Making your mom jokes cross any racial or ethnic boundaries. 06:38, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
-lysdexia 03:50, 16 May 2007 (UTC)


Why is the current etymology of "playing the dozens" in the article (some nonsense about a dozen slaves) completely at odds with the etymology linked from this section? The source linked does not explain its source for the origin of the term so there's no way to evaluate it. I'm going to tag the etymology section from the active page, and I propose the following:

The origin of the term "dozens" is unclear, however there is speculation that the origin is in the 18th century use of "dozen" as a verb to mean "to stupefy or daze" or in the use of "bulldoze" as a noun in the same period to mean "a severe beating or thrashing." Others believe that the origin is instead the practice of selling the least desirable slaves in lots of twelve, producing the term "the dozens."

My source: Abrahams, Roger D., "Playing the Dozens", The Journal of the American Folklore Society, 1962, p. 219 note 1.

WaltBusterkeys 07:44, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

-- I have a speculation as to the origin of the name. Perhaps a common thing to say to one's opponent while playing this game is "that doesn't bother me" in response to an insult. It seems like not a far stretch to take the phonetic spelling of the ethnic pronunciation (doesn't/dozen) to derive the title. Jamamon (talk) 17:02, 22 February 2020 (UTC)

Page contentEdit

What exactly happened to this page? It looks like the Cyrillic alphabet collided with HTML or something. --Zeta

Renamed from playing the dozens, which was moved from playing the dozens under jokeEdit

For those of you who wish to trace the development of this piece and the accompanying discussion.

Isn't this called "playing the dozens"? I have NO idea where I heard that term, but I did a google search and found -- Zoe

Meelar, please don't destroy information. The two articles should be merged and kept separate form Joke article. It is a common rule in wikipedia: when an article grows large, it is split in smaller ones or spins off smaller ones, "mother" article keeping a summary only. Mikkalai 01:40, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Moving playing the dozens from joke and other mattersEdit

I was going to go back and move this from "joke" -- and saw that it had already been done. (Glad to see someone agreed with me that it was under an inappropriate subhead.)

However, some reference should have been made in establishing the new article that it had been moved from joke. Doing so allows a newcomer to the subject to trace the development of the piece through previous edits -- and does not leave the unfortunate impression (as this does) that the article was created out of whole cloth by the person simply doing the transferring.

Further, the entry in joke should be deleted, with only a passing reference. The dozens is not "joking." With this article, there doesn't need to be essentially another edited piece -- still in the same inappropriate setting that has been rather ineptly/vaguely renamed ("and the like").

Further, the Your Mom article should have a reference to the dozens, because whoever added "your mom" jokes has attributed their origin to the dozens. And "Yo [sic] Momma" should be changed to a contraction "Yo'" whenever it appears. No time for any of this at the moment. If others agree, perhaps someone else can do it if they have time. Peace. deeceevoice 06:32, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Tooke the time. Done. deeceevoice 06:45, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Renaming the pageEdit

The page should be renamed simply "The dozens." deeceevoice 08:00, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. Mikkalai 17:13, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Why a separate page for Your Mom?Edit

Since it's a derivation of the dozens, why not simply incorporate it into this article, with a subhead (and a redirect)? See my comments/questions on the discussion page for your mom. deeceevoice 08:02, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Agreed. Mikkalai 17:14, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • Seperate linguistic concept While The Dozens uses "your mom" they are not the same thing. Dozens is an insult contest, while "your mom" is a specific type of insult, as well as a sarcastic retort. While in the past, Your Mom may have been of zero encyclopedic value (andtherefore should be a redirect), I've tried to give it the article it deserves. Insulting someone's mother is a common theme across cultures and predates the dozens, as well as having more wide-ranging uses than the dozens. Dgies 22:32, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
This is an old debate, but I agree with Dgies. The new page is a big improvement on the old one. What it needs is vandal-fighting and trimming of any superfluous examples.--Chaser T 00:04, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

"The dozens" might incorporate "your mom" insults and jokes, but your mom should not be exclusively included in the article on "The dozens." Category membership does not imply ownership here. It might also be worth mentioning that, in many cultures, your mom jokes are quite prevalent, while knowledge and practice of "the dozens" game is nonexistent.

Discussion threads from your momEdit

This page really needs a mention of where the name "The dozens" is used. I read the whole article, the whole talk page and I'm still none the wiser! I'm going to guess it's the US/parts of the US but it does need clarification. I'm British, and I've never heard it. 00:31, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Never mind, I obviously haven't had my coffee this morning. 00:33, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

I especially like the "casting dispersions" part! But couldn't we have some better snaps, please. These are too elaborate and lame. Wetman 03:04, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Meelar, please don't destroy information. The two articles should be merged and kept separate form Joke article. It is a common rule in wikipedia: when an article grows large, it is split in smaller ones or spins off smaller ones, "mother" article keeping a summary only. Mikkalai 01:40, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Since there wasn't much info in this article, I moved what was here into the joke section. I didn't think there was any information destroyed. Was there? [[User:Meelar|Meelar (talk)]] 03:40, Oct 29, 2004 (UTC)


I deleted all of the following. Much of this information is directly related to the dozens and already appears there. This is an article on "Your mom" ... something. Which, it seems to me, is rather a strange thing -- an article on a phrase. (Is it "your mom jokes"?) Examples here should be of British humor -- and not recycled African-American humor. I'm not a Brit, so I don't know if these witticisms are used in competitive word play (as in the dozens) or not. I just don't know.

It may be my ignorance, but this article, frankly, seems a bit unnecessary. If the "your mom," uh, jokes (or whatever), are simply the British take on the dozens, it might make more sense make this a redirect page and integrate whatever original information there is in this into the "dozens" article under an appropriate subhead. If they're simply jokes, then include them under joke.

The only reason I suggested removing "the dozens" from the joke article in the first place was that the dozens is something other than just tossing off one-liners. And they certainly didn't fit under the subhead "ethnic jokes," because ethnic jokes typically make a particular ethnic group the butt of jokes, based on certain stereotypes. The dozens clearly doesn't fit.

Again, if this is a British version of the dozens, then I suggest making this a redirect page and including this info in that particular article. This doesn't seem to make much sense. deeceevoice 07:49, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Alternative hip hop group The Pharcyde released a song on their debut album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde entitled "Yo Mama", the lyrics of which consisted entirely of "your mom" jokes.

This is a list of Yo' Mama jokes, a kind of humor in "playing the dozens".



  • "Yo mamma is so nasty and poor she uses her tampon as a tea bag!"
  • "Yo mamma is so fat that when she lies around the house, she lies around the house."
  • "Yo mamma is so fat she plays pool with the planets."
  • "Yo mamma is so fat when I said it was chilly outside, she grabbed a spoon and ran out the door!"
  • "Yo mamma is so fat she uses a hammock for a bra!"
  • "Yo mamma is so fat she could sell shade!"


  • "Yo mamma is so fat when she wears a red dress, people yell, "Hey, Kool-aid!"
  • "Yo mamma is so fat her favorite food is seconds!"
  • "Yo mamma is so fat when she goes to the zoo, elephants throw HER peanuts!"
  • "Yo mamma is so fat when she jumps into the air, she gets stuck!"
  • "Yo mamma is so fat when she goes to the beach, the tide comes in!"
  • "Yo mamma is so fat she broke her leg, and gravy poured out."
  • "Yo mamma is so fat her blood type is gravy."
  • "Yo mamma is so fat when she takes a shower her feet don't get wet!"
  • "Yo mamma is so fat and black when she jumped in the pool everybody thought there was a oil spill!"
  • "Yo mamma is so dirty that they use her bathwater to dye bowling balls."
  • "Yo mamma is so old, her breastmilk is powder."
  • "Yo mamma is so old when God said "let there be light", she flipped the switch!
  • "Yo mamma is so poor when she goes to KFC she licks other people's fingers!"
  1. "cortlin so stupid he saw a dick and thought it was a pusseycat!"
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid she sits on the T.V. and watches the couch!"
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid it took her 2 hours to watch 60 Minutes!"
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid that she puts lipstick on her head just to make-up her mind."
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid you have to dig for her IQ!"
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid she thinks a cannibal is a drug-addict"
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid she got locked in a grocery store and starved!"
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid that she sold the car for gas money."
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid she could trip over a cordless phone!"
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid she bought a solar-powered flashlight!"
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid she took a ruler to bed to see how long she slept."
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid she thinks Tupac Shakur is a Jewish holiday."
  • "Yo mamma is so bald you can see what she thinkin'."
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid she let the dogs out"
  • "Yo mamma is so stupid, when her bathroom flooded, she tried calling 9-1-1 on her Dial (soap)!

Additionally, phrases like "That's what yo' mamma said last night!" are often used as retorts or comebacks, usually in a joking way.

"Hey, lay off of my mamma!"
"Why? I laid on her all last night!"
"Look, you keep my mamma out of this, and I'll keep This (make gesture) out of your Mom.

But, not strictly.

"My mamma could throw better than that, and she's in a wheelchair!"
"Your mamma couldnt fit in a wheelchair bro!"

"Your face" is a common substitute for "your mom."

See also: Yo Mama's Last Supper

deeceevoice 07:39, 26 Nov 2004 (UTC) END DELETIONS FROM [[Talk: Your Mom]

"Your Mom" is now a redirect page to The dozens. Nothing more. If someone knows how to put in an official request that the page itself be deleted, please do so -- along with the discussion page. (I tried, but it didn't take. But it may have been a problem with the site, because my earlier response to BanyanTree also didn't register.) Anyway, nothing will be lost, because all new information has now been incorporated into the article and the discussion pages for The dozens. deeceevoice 19:32, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"Yo momma's so fat, her clothes come in three sizes: Large, Extra-Large, and "Oh My God, It's Coming!"

"Yo momma's so ugly, when she goes to get a haircut, she has to open her shirt!" LizFL (talk) 05:42, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

History of the dozensEdit

Do we have a citation for "Ben Jonson, a contemporary of Shakespeare, wrote a comedy, The Roarer, about a foppish young man who hires a roarer to teach him the art so that he can best his wife-to-be in arguments."? I've been searching for The Roarer and cannot find mention of it in Ben Jonson's biography or in lists of his works. Might the title be incorrect? Phil Wolff (talk) 13:52, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

I've reverted the text back to its original form. There is a lot of folklore surrounding the origin of the practice, but when it comes to historical scholarship, there is no credible debate of which I am aware. There is no reliable connection whatsoever to "sexual positions" or the number of rounds, etc., etc. Besides, anyone who has ever played the dozens KNOWS that sessions have been known to go on for hours. If it takes anyone an hour to come up with 12 snaps, then they're seriously, tragically ill-equipped to compete in the first place. A knowledgeable source on the web on the origin of the dozens:

"The Dozens" are an elaborate insult contest. Rather than insulting an opponent directly, a contestant derides members of the opponent's family, usually his mother. 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.
In an effort to toughen their hearts against the continual verbal assault inflicted on them, as part of the "dozens," Blacks practiced insulting each other indirectly by attacking the most sacred "mother" of the other. The person who loses his "cool" and comes to blows loses the contest. The person who outwits and out-insults the other while keeping a "cool" head is the winner. Elements of both signifying and the dozens appear in the toasts tradition.

The above passage was written by African-American author and professor Mona Lisa Saloy. It appears in "African American Oral Traditions in Louisiana" treating the subject of Louisiana folklife on a National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored website.

If Banyan Tree (or others) can come up with any scholarly source for that appallingly incorrect mess about sex (which is totally out of keeping with the sensibilities of the time when the dozens originated; it sounds just as absurdly off-the-wall as the excised garbage someone wrote in motherfucker about it being a "preferential" term that blacks used for their white fathers who raped their mothers), then it can be restored. But not until then. Idle speculation by the uninformed turned into urban legend is not the caliber of information we should permit on Wikipedia. deeceevoice 11:55, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It's taken from the Word of the Day feature at After a bit more looking I found a recent interesting discussion by a bunch of linguists that includes the following point:
According to Geneva Smitherman (Talkin and Testifyin: The language of Black America, Houghton Mifflin 1977, page 132): "The term "Dozens" probably comes from the fact that the original verses involved twelve sex acts, each stated in such a way as to rhyme with the numbers 1 to 12. Ms Smitherman apparently had a change of heart because, "dictionaries such as Geneva Smitherman's "Black Talk" (1994). About THE DOZENS she says: The term, though not the ritual itself, is believed to have originated during enslavement, wherein slave auctioneers sold defective 'merchandise', e.g. sick slaves or older slaves, in lots of a dozen". None of the university linguists offered a definitive etymology, or mentioned Prof. Saloy, perhaps because she has a Masters in creative writing rather than a PhD in linguistic anthropology.
The fact that the words "probably" and "is believed" are included in both imply a significant degree of uncertainty. Prof. Saloy has an impressive bio, though I couldn't figure out if she has done original research or is simply parroting Ms. Smitherman without the "is believed". Given the shift in Ms. Smitherman's thought between '77 and '94, I'm willing to leave out a sentence on "sex acts" but think "is believed" or something similar needs to be added unless a credible independent source can be found to support Prof. Saloy or somebody who knows Prof Saloy's research methods can state that it is so comprehensive that it overrides Ms. Smitherman's hesitancy, and backup is not needed.
I'm also removing the line "In an effort to toughen their hearts...most sacred 'mother' of the other" because 1) following Prof Saloy down the rabbit hole too far seems unwise given that much of her academic focus is on Black Beat poets 2) I cannot imagine how anyone could definitively state the motive for all snaps in slave stockades 150 years ago, and 3) it does not belong in the section of the article that describes the origin.
"Idle speculation by the uninformed" implies that I thought it up in my free time. By the way, do you think that "Your mother is like a doorknob because everyone takes a turn." is too risqué to be included in the article? BanyanTree 16:32, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

First of all, I included Saloy not because she's a linguist, but because hers was the first reasonably authoritative commentary I came across on the net that jived with other sources I've read in the past -- and because of her connection with an institution/project that studies African-American life and culture. And, no. I don't believe Smitherman's theories about sexual references should be printed, unless you have something that provides some credence to what she originally said -- her source. She simply may have repeated it because it was a nugget gleaned from some source she thought may have been correct, but which later proved unreliable. Her original explanation may not have stemmed from anything with any substance. The fact is that she apparently repudiated that explanation -- not later thought it a less likely theory, but repudiated it. At least that's my understanding from what you've written. If you have information to the contrary, if there is some credence to this seemingly outrageously incongruous notion -- not only with regard to the crudeness of it, but with regard to the timeline, as well -- among others who study such matters, then by all means restore it.

And, no. I didn't think you "made it up." "Idle speculation by the uninformed" speaks to how such things often come into being and get repeated as truisms -- even by people one might expect to be otherwise well-informed --but which end up, in fact, being quite false.

And, once again, no. I don't think your snap is too risqué for Wikipedia -- no more so than, say, "Yo' mama's so stupid, the first time she used a vibrator, she cracked three teeth." deeceevoice 19:23, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The way I read the 'maybe' sex acts or 'is believed' slave trade, is that the weight of data available to Smitherman shifted over the course of the 20 years between her two works, but not enough to make a definitive statement. I don't call that repudiation; more like scholarly ass covering. I'd be happy to drop my objection if someone could either show that she made a definitive statement recently or she's in a minority of scholars so small as to be overpowered.
Your argument about the 'sex acts' appears, to me, to apply as well to the 'slave' story. Sexually explicit jokes and stories, ranging from Gilgamesh to the Canterbury Tales to "there once was a man from Nantucket" are common throughout history and the idea of a verbal competition in which the rules required a common rhyme (one, two, three, etc) seems entirely plausible. My point is that there was unsettled disagreement among sources that the article should reflect, and I'm not really interested in belaboring the point.
Oh, yeah - I think your snap might be a little much for the main page, though I like it better than mine. Perhaps something like "Your mother is so ugly, when she sits in the sand the cat tries to bury her" may be more appropriate. BanyanTree 23:17, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Yes, I admit you have a point with Gilgamesh, etc. But I'm simply not aware of any credible scholar who adheres to such a theory of the origin of the dozens. If you can produce someone credible who still believes such seeming nonsense, and that the dozens somehow developed in the early 20th century, then I'd like to hear of them/see some substantiation. Folklore and fact are two different things, and Smitherman's hypothesis sounds off to me, like little more than speculation turned urban legend that gained dubious -- and fleeting, at that -- credibility over time.

Personally, I'm partial to "Yo' mama so ugly, evvuh tahm she pass a toilet, it flushes." :-p deeceevoice 17:02, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

My understanding was that dozens referred to the double six domino and the slap-down style of domino play in the carribean tradition. --Bonarien 19:44, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The dozens is an African-american phenomenon in origin -- not Afro-Caribbean. I've never heard or read such an explanation. I don't think that explanation of its origins is even remotely plausible. deeceevoice 20:42, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Note [url][/url} "dozen c.1300, from O.Fr. dozeine "a dozen," from douze "twelve," from L. duodecim, from duo "two" + decem "ten." The O.Fr. fem. suffix -aine is characteristically added to cardinals to form collectives in a precise sense ("exactly 12," not "about 12"). The dozens "invective contest" (1928) originated in slave culture, the custom probably African, the word probably from bulldoze (q.v.) in its original sense of "a whipping, a thrashing."

This reinforces the evidence that dozens is of Creole (in the sense of French-Carribbean) and New Orleanian in origin. Personally, I doubt slaves were sold in "dozens". Slave owners of the time were picayune in their descriptions of property inventories, and slaves were too valuable to be discounted. Ms. Saloys recounting of oral history is more believeable in this overall context.

I request Deeceevoice evaluate this and edit the article, as his scholarship and interest are superior to mine. After all, his momma so fat they used her butt to paint the white lines on I-10 :-). (anonymous post)

Actually, no. First, the etymology is for the generic word "dozen" -- not the phenomenon being discussed. Second, disfigured, old and problem (rebellious, insolent, prone to escape) slaves often were sold in lots; they were not considered as valuable as, say, a woman of childbearing age or a strong, young male or female who had not been disfigured or crippled. Third, again, every credible source places the origin of the dozens in the African American community. Fourth, I'm a woman. Fifth, I've heard far better. I'm partial to: "Yo' momma so fat, when she haul ass, she gotta take 2 trips." deeceevoice 18:27, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
I know of a similar practice in West Africa. Although the system is slightly different. Certain clans are deemed to be "joke rivals" or sometimes "joke cousins" and when they meet they will spar in a manner like the descriptions of "the dozens." However the psychology and custom is somewhat different. Generally the clans believe, rightly or wrongly, that they have a real ancestral connection to each other. This either makes them feuding enemies or friendly "cousins" who can insult each other without animosity. Some of these are fairly tight-knit village cultures where it's discouraged to viciously insult anyone so being allowed to have "joke/insult cousins" is kind of a tension release I think. Or it's something my African studies prof made up to amuse me. Either way I know of no proven connection so I won't add it, but I thought it might be interesting.--T. Anthony 12:31, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

List of jokesEdit

Might the list of jokes be better off in a jokebook - say, [here at Wikibooks] - than in an encyclopedia? -Joshuapaquin 21:01, August 2, 2005 (UTC)

I agree. An encyclopedia only needs as many examples to illustrate the range of variety in whatever is discussed. Start deselecting the ones that are too similar in style, or refer to concepts in American culture that may not be understood worldwide. GUllman 02:11, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

I have trimmed the list down, limiting it to an arbitrary (but hopefully reasonable) maximum of five per topic. I also moved the link to the WikiBooks Jokebook up to the "examples" section, since I think it will be most useful and relevant there. HorsePunchKid 04:06, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

The theme song of jazz alto saxophonist Phil Woods is "How's Your Mama?". Seems relevant, but I'm not sure. 02:48, 20 August 2005 (UTC)


Anyone remember the Benson episode with the insult duel? Some mention of that should be here.  BD2412 talk 22:46, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

In Living ColorEdit

The fifth season of the Fox comedy show In Living Color had a handful of episodes in which Stu Dunfy (portrayed by Nick Bakay) hosted a game show based on the dozens (including "The Dirty Dozens," "Wheel of Dozens," and so forth). In the skits, much of the dozens material was ad-libbed. 23:46, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

on the show "Good Times" they played the dozens all the time. Should this be metioned if "House, M.D." is metioned?Virgo dragon (talk) 17:13, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

A few concerns after copy-editing the pageEdit

There were a number of small problems, mostly under the category of "things I could not verify". Two were relatively major, though, so I thought I'd bring them up here for comment.

  1. You'll see I put a citation in for Saloy's essay. However, the two sources I found for it online did not contain the quote in the article, though I'm reasonably certain that it's the essay that's being referred to.
  2. The stuff about Napoleon Dynamite under the topic of your mom just seems false to me. This sort of degenerate form of yo momma was around and popular long before it came out. I didn't want to remove the entire paragraph without soliciting some kind of verification first, but consider it to be on the chopping block!

Any thoughts? HorsePunchKid 04:00, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and removed the reference. HorsePunchKid 2005-12-17 09:25:57Z

joke additionEdit

added a yo mama joke under stupid

Just something you should know...Edit

There are some on here that aren't funny in the least. If there's anything I hate, it's a bad joke. I'll be watching this page for quality, so no corny stuff.Fadiga 19:20, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

list getting too long againEdit

It's about time to trim the example lists way back again. I'm prepared to do it, but the only criteria I know how to apply are the uniqueness and funniness of each example, which are obviously pretty subjective. Anyone have any other ideas about how to trim the lists, or should we just play it by ear? --Allen 01:27, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

I went ahead and deleted a bunch, somewhat arbitrarily. Some I deleted because they didn't seem very funny to me, some I deleted because they sounded like the poster might have made them up, some I deleted because they were similar to others. As I said above, I wish we had more objective criteria, but the list was getting ridiculous. Feel free to revert me and trim the list by some other criteria. --Allen 20:32, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, that didn't last long. Could someone who wants all the examples listed please explain why they think it makes the article better? Thanks. --Allen 00:08, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I oppose trimming the examples list. I agree with Allen that we should list all of the examples. No matter how stupid, no matter how much they don't make sense, or no matter how much people don't understand them. --Domthedude001 20:05, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
Strongly support trimming the list. This isn't a free for all. Lots of examples will remain so people will get the idea. This page dosen't need to be taken over in the name of ..whatever...JMHOTom 19:42, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
List needs trimming, see WP:NOT "Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information". I'd say a maximum of five, if the editors could bring themselves to do it, I'd like to see just one. The rest of them should head over to uncyclopedia... Tenebrous 12:07, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Strongly support Someone recently added a whole bunch of them but I deleted them because 1) they put them in the wrong section, 2) most of them had major spelling errors and I don't mean like "yo mama". I mean you gotta capitalize "I" and put apostrophes in words like "dont" 3) yes, there's enough examples already. But if you're gonna add them...put them in the correct section at least. And there are subcategories (yo mama's so fat, so stupid, etc) so if you're gonna add them do so accordingly. I deleted them all because I don't have them to sift through all of them all.
Strongly support per Tom--Joe Jklin 23:41, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Most of the additions are typically being made by IP addresses... or more to the point, new users (I guess) who know wikipedia is an "edit yourself" encyclopedia so they go right ahead and add their own without thinking about whether the list really needs it or not. There appears to have been several times when the list was culled only to have more added shortly later or even the entire list restored. The reality is that simply having a list of examples is open to abuse. People always want to add to lists of "incomplete" information". Given that, there are really only two ways we can go:
1. Continued vigilance. Arbitrarily choose which jokes to remain and cull the page every few months or so as the list starts to get too long. We could also add commented warnings in the text like "IMPORTANT: No more than 5 examples are required." (5 being an arbitrary number seemingly capable of representing the object in question).
2. The other is to split the lists up, each to their own page and let the mayhem commence. If we really do want to list all the jokes, doing it on this page is not appropriate and they're going to need their own page.
Typically, I would take option 2 (Yeah, I'm an inclusionist). The problem though, is one of verification. Do you really want to source every "Your Momma" joke? Some of them as it is seem to be simply made up. Which is true. Anyone could come along, make up a "Your Momma" joke and add it in and we'd be none the wiser. However, I think a list of your momma jokes is not what we want, so I've taken the bold step of implementing option 1 and simply cutting the list back to the first 5 examples under each heading. We'll see how long that lasts. Yay unto the Chicken 09:46, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Major revertEdit

Sorry I had to revert to a version so many edits back but it seems like the article got seriously messed up. Can editors TRY to make as much of their edit in ONE pass rather than a whole bunch of consectutive edits?? I really apologize if some RELEVANT/good faith edits got sqwashed, but can we discuss in here and then add/change?? Thanks!Tom 17:20, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

cleanup tagEdit

I don't know if adding this tag will do much good, but this article is a mess. People keep slipping in bizarre little changes that no one notices. For example, I just noticed that the lyics to the "Twelves" have been changed repeatedly since they were inserted. Maybe they're corrections -- I don't know the song -- but there has to be a correct version and it doesn't seem like any of us watching the article know what it is. I'll try to fix it, but that's just an example. I don't know how many other similar things have been messed with that I wouldn't notice, not being an expert on this topic. And what is with the first line being changed to The dozens: Your mom! ? It sounds like a movie title. And of course I still don't know what to do about the ridiculous list of example snaps, half of which read like they were made up by the editor who inserted them. Maybe we should make an article List of snaps used in the dozens? It would be an inevitably junky article, but at least it would provide an excuse to keep the crap off this article. --Allen 17:13, 7 May 2006 (UTC)


Deleted (your momma slides down rainbow, skittles pop out) as it appeared twice. Rupert


What the hell is The Dozens? I'm from Northern Ireland, and I hear people saying Your Mom all the time (Except we say "yer ma!" hehe). I'd never heard of it's origins, like many others I'm sure, and when they type in Your Mom they won't expect the Dozens and won't read- might even report it as a fault????

Its pretty close to the practice of jokingly giving your mates a Bollocking - We do it down here in Australia, too Churba 22:18, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Examples section removedEdit

This was a long long list of uncited, mostly unfunny, unencyclopedic "examples." It added nothing to the article, and was growing without bound. - 02:36, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Just for clarity, this didn't give me an edit conflict when unintentionally re-removing the material. Sorry for the inaccurate edit summary. - 02:44, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Well-done. Yay unto the Chicken 03:33, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Not just strictly a "tradition" followed by one group of peopleEdit

STOP CALLING THE DOZENS STRICTLY A "TRADITION" FOLLOWED BY ONE GROUP OF PEOPLE!!!!!! I get real tired of it, and the point MUST (no, not just SHOULD, but MUST) be brought up that the particular group of people mentioned in the article were strictly the ones who originated the "tradition", but NOT the only ones who follow it because many other groups of people like to do this a lot! There is absolutely nothing to this that should be offensive, but more than one group of people follow this "tradition". Yes, it does so happen that the originating group is best known for following this so-called "tradition" but are not under any circumstances the ONLY ones who follow it. One more thing I would like to bring up: some of the wording like "tradition" and "[they] follow it" might not make sense, but are the best wording that I could come up with, but hopefully most of you should be able to get the point across. JustN5:12 01:11, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Hey JustN5---Yo mamma!

Racism RemovedEdit

It doesn't say african american anymore!

Kaaos 15:25, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Racism removed?

"most blacks only knowledge of it is through 'hood life' movies" ""The Dozens" is an element of the African American oral tradition" "the large number of incarcerated blacks in American prisons"

I think you need to look harder, terrible article, might as well call it "The Dozens [Opinion]". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:07, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

List getting too longEdit

Seriously, people need to trim that nasty hedge. It's not necessary to have more then 5 examples total, and I think that even that's too much. One example from every area, that's it. We're not Uncyclopedia. Let's keep it that way. - 2-16 17:26, 22 May 2007 (UTC)


It is inherently sexist to crudely degrade women and to call it humor. This is true in every culture on the planet. Basic humanity calls for respect of other people. All major religions, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, etc (even New Age) call for mutual respect. WP:NPOV says we must represent all views and have balance. This article needs a balancing point of bringing attention to its sometimes sexist nature. Rlsheehan, June 15, 2007

Feel free to edit the article. --Tom 15:38, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Your fatherEdit

Why does it redirect to this page? I see no mention of this phrase here. TheBlazikenMaster 12:35, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I think it is suppose to be like "your mother" but only using father. Anyways, --Tom 15:37, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Ryan Miller's "yo momma"Edit

That was in Cantonese? I'll check for sure next time I see it, but pretty sure it wasn't--sounded like bad Mandarin to me. BrianTung (talk) 00:47, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

List too long (2010)Edit

That list was too long again, which seems to have happened a lot in the history of this page. It actually looked like someone may have copied lines of the list and simply pasted them again (to be funny?). I cut it down to four, which I don't feel was too heavy, as the majority of the jokes were either not note-worthy, duplicates, or just plain stupid. I realize a 'stupid joke' is subjective, but I think we can all agree that "Yo mama so fat when she sits on my face I can't hear the stereo!" probably doesn't need to be on here. Nigtv (talk) 22:05, 24 February 2010 (UTC)


Either the dozens has its origin in the New Orleans slave trade or in West African cultural oral tradition...not both, both isn't possible. Perhaps the origin of the practice is West African and the origin of the term in New Orleans...if so, this ought be made clear. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Regarding origin/purpose - I am white, but I worked with a black woman who would have been born in the early 60's and from Texas. She referred to it as "the dozens" and described the purpose as a response to racism. Black people would be offended constantly by white people e.g. calling the "boy" and far worse, no respect, etc. Of course, in the day (and perhaps still, in some parts) - it would be potentially fatal for a black person to get angry and talk back to the white person. So, the purpose of the dozens (per this contact) was to toughen up young black kids, so that nothing they might hear from a white person would be more insulting than what they had heard playing the dozens. Also, according to the rules she was familiar with, you Didn't use "yo mama" - that was both a sign you lost your cool, and that a fight was about to start. Sorry, not a scholarly comment, no references, but that is one angle I don't see in the article at this time. (talk) 06:27, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Adding sourced infoEdit

I'm going to add some info to this article if only to get rid of those damn improvement templates. --Moni3 (talk) 00:07, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Merge into new Article with Flyting as "Ritual Insults"Edit

"The Dozens" is not the only example of this phenomena in the world, and is too culturally specific to the USA.

I'm not American, and although familiar with "Yo momma" jokes, I had never heard the term "The Dozens" until last week.

This tradition is no different to the European tradition of Flyting, and arguably the Asian tradition of Crosstalk. There are probably many other varieties from other cultures that I and others have never heard of. It seems reasonable and sensible to create a more over-arching topic on ritual insult traditions that people can discover when searching for Insults and other related terms. (talk) 18:01, 31 March 2012 (UTC) Rinky Stingpiece

What are you suggesting, that this article become a part of a larger article about insult games? Just because information focuses on a game from a specific region or people does not mean that doesn't warrant an article.
Why would this article need to cease to exist on its own? Why not take a portion of this article to add it to a more comprehensive article about insult games? --Moni3 (talk) 15:20, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Passage in disputeEdit

The game is almost exclusive to African Americans; whites often fail to understand how to play the game and can take remarks in the Dozens seriously.[note 1] Both males and females participate, but the game is more commonly played among males of varying social status.[1]

This passage has been removed despite its being cited to two sources. Is there a problem with these sources? What's the reason for removing this?

See also WP:BRD. A discussion in edit summaries is not a discussion. This is now an edit war. --Moni3 (talk) 13:41, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Moni3, "sources" can also be found making any number of wide-sweeping generalizations and stereotypes about "other" races and groups of people. Then it can get into a question of "well, whose books do you trust? our books or their' books?"
Fortunately wikipedia has a policy known as NPOV which dictates that we play it neutral and describe what the source says if it is likely to be controversial, for instance if it promotes stereotypes about and entire race, but under no circumstances should we be endorsing such a source. And yes, the number one problem I see with that source is that it promotes stereotypes about an entire race.
Don't assume that because I logged out for this to edit anonymously that I am inexperienced with wp's policies. I am about as experienced as you can get with 7+ years editing under my belt. Was my logging out good idea? Yes, obviously - already you have threatened to have my IP blocked! (talk) 14:00, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
With those 7+ years of experience, somehow you failed to comprehend the concepts clearly laid out in WP:RS and WP:OR. One of these sources is a peer-reviewed academic journal concentrating on African American culture, and the other is a book dealing with the same. You appear to disagree with the sources' findings, making it your decision to remove this information, which is original research. Frankly, I have no idea what your edit summaries mean. You should have started a discussion on the talk page at the first instance where you thought something was wrong in the article.
No matter what your opinion is on this passage, two sources have stated that whites in the U.S. rarely play this game, the Dozens, and when they are confronted with entreaties to play, i.e., insults, they are often confused or angered. If you know this to patently untrue, false, misrepresented, please explain how using reliable sources as explained in the WP:RS policy. --Moni3 (talk) 14:17, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
I got a better idea. How about if you simply render the passage in question neutral, by prefacing it with the words "According to Leland,..." ? Instead of trying to force wikipedia to endorse what you surely must know is a racialist stereotype, just because your POV source says so? That would be the simple solution. The not so simple solution would be to take this to an RFC. (talk) 14:32, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
As much as I'd like to see you justify your edits in an RfC, explaining your opinions of a "POV source", and two to boot, I'll settle for this for now. Wasn't this a fun way to spend a Sunday? Ever so much got accomplished. --Moni3 (talk) 14:45, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Common sense, a "POV source" is a source that exhibits a "point-of-view". We can attribute such points of view to their source, as it does now, but there should be no justification for wikipedia spouting the same point of view as in the source, as if the source's POV being promoted were somehow an unassailable "truth". (talk) 15:58, 29 April 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference lefever was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

No mention of the dozens as a pre-cursor to rap battles?Edit

I would have thought this would be obvious, but I can't seem to find a reference to it anywhere on the page. Just thought I'd bring this one up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:35, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

the dozensEdit

I'm not certain where the term Dozens comes from. But this is no joke and I don't know about the 'insult' aspect of this- however there is a technically challenging Reverend Gary Davis guitar piece called 'The Dozens" and my understanding is that the title has something to do with what is referred to as a 'cutting' contest,like the incredible black piano players in Harlem, like Fats Waller, JP Johnson, and Willie "The Lion" Smith. In Ed Kirkeby's bio "Fats Waller" they relate how the young Art Tatum came to Harlem in 1931 from Toledo,OH and just blew everybody out of the water with his technical and improvisational prowess. Kirkeby says that they old guard knew they had been "cut". 2601:193:8300:85AE:4197:7E96:8D9F:E196 (talk) 01:34, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

stilted and weird toneEdit

This page is so stuffy in language -- the page ought to be less academic in tone. It just comes off as weird and unapproachable to me. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:8801:C300:346:EC8A:2E9B:6A76:8E62 (talk) 05:39, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

Sorry if it kinda creeped U out! Was that how it felt right from the start? Or did U get partway through and then it began to seem weird? (Or maybe the top bit, before the Contents box, was a bit dense but then it got better for a bit?) - SquisherDa (talk) 16:34, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

Requested move 11 December 2020Edit

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: Not moved (non-admin closure) (t · c) buidhe 03:43, 19 December 2020 (UTC)

The DozensDozens – Per WP:THE: If the definite or indefinite article would be capitalized in running text, then include it at the beginning of the Wikipedia article name. Otherwise, do not ... The definite article in "the Dozens" is not capitalized anywhere in the body of this article, and "The Dozens" does not need to be distinguished from a separate WP article on "dozens". (Dozens is currently a redirect to Dozen, but if this article is renamed, a hatnote can be added to replace that redirect.) Deor (talk) 23:11, 11 December 2020 (UTC)

  • Strong oppose firstly malformed, the target is correctly a redirect to dozen, dozens is the plural of dozen, what else would we expect. Secondly the rationale is wrong: see Elijah Wald The Dozens: A History of Rap's Mama 2012 "Looks at "the dozens," a witty insult game that has been a basic building block of African American culture, and explores its connections to rap music, comedy, and literature." thirdly if moved then Dozens (game). In ictu oculi (talk) 12:28, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Per In ictu oculi, not primary topic for the word "Dozens".ZXCVBNM (TALK) 18:59, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:PLURALPT and WP:ASTONISH Dozen gets 4,861 views compared to only 3,304 for the game[[1]]. Google returns a company as does Images returns the company and number and Books seems varied and does show the game. I also think the 1st part of WP:THE is satisfied since like Doors/The Doors the number is the meaning without the definite article. The number is also likely primary by long-term significance. Maybe move to Dozens (game) per IIO but this isn't the primary topic for the plural form of the number though maybe we could retarget Dozens to Dozen (disambiguation) as a compromise. Note that the redirect The Dozens (Black-ish) also exists. Crouch, Swale (talk) 21:21, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
  • FYI, I opened another RM at Talk:Snakes and Ladders that affects this page, although motivated by capitalization rather than "The". I hadn't noticed that this RM was already open. Now I'm not sure what to do about having two RMs for this page open at the same time. — BarrelProof (talk) 21:09, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
    It will probably show up as malformatted but as noted maybe this can be speedily closed as not moved? Crouch, Swale (talk) 21:12, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
    It is now on Wikipedia:Requested moves#Malformed requests. Crouch, Swale (talk) 21:15, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
    OK, I removed this page from the other request. I can submit another request if necessary after this one is closed. — BarrelProof (talk) 21:48, 14 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose as proposed. Clearly not the primary topic for Dozens. However, rename to Dozens (game). -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:00, 16 December 2020 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Requested move 4 January 2021Edit

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The result of the move request was: moved. (closed by non-admin page mover) Jack Frost (talk) 08:46, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

The DozensDozens (game) – per previous RM discussion. Alternatively, it should be moved to lowercase per MOS:GAMECAPS and recent RMs at Talk:Fuzzy duck and Talk:Snakes and ladders. — BarrelProof (talk) 18:50, 4 January 2021 (UTC)

  • Agree the capital letter should be dropped but no opinion on the proposed move. Crouch, Swale (talk) 18:11, 5 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. No reason for the definite article or the capitalisation at all. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:39, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Support. Deor (talk) 19:45, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

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