What is the funny bone and why does it hurt when I bump it?

What we call a “funny bone” isn’t funny and it isn’t a bone.

It’s a nerve called the ulnar nerve, which is entirely too exposed for its own good and yours.

When it is hit, tingling, numbness, and pain strike the outer fingers on your hand and may take seconds or even minutes to subside.

The name “funny bone” comes from a wordplay on the name of the bone that runs from your shoulder to your elbow, the “humerus.” Now that’s funny.

However, next time a friend smacks his funny bone and is in pain, don’t laugh. Give him or her a hug first, then laugh all you want. It’s just funnier that way.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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