Why children find ‘poo’ so hilarious – and how adults should tackle it

Justin Williams

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


A boy meets a man carrying a load of cow manure and asks him what he is going to do with it all. The man tells the little boy: “I’m taking it home to put on my strawberries.” The boy looks up at the man and says: “I don’t know where you come from, but where I come from we put cream and sugar on our strawberries.”

While most of us can appreciate a joke about excrement, preschoolers and children often find it hilarious on a completely different level. Just running around the house saying the word “poo” out loud can often unleash hysterical laughter. But why is this?
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Justin H G Williams receives funding from the Northwood Trust.


  • Child development
  • Child psychology
  • Humor
  • toilet training
  • Anthill 16: Humour me


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