So, there’s this person (group? bot?) on Twitter called OMGFacts that sends out random bits of trivia like, “A single human blood cell takes only 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.” I don’t follow, but it shows up on my feeds all the time because they talk about Shakespeare often. Sometimes it’s something weird like, “Shakespeare alone wrote as many as 1/10th of the most quotable quotations ever written or spoken in English.” I mean, what? How do you prove that? I count at least 5 different issues I have with that sentence. But then yesterday they came up with this one: “Shakespeare was the first to use insults about people’s mothers. (yo momma, mother******, etc.)” and my Twitter streams just asploded – I was getting that sucker rebroadcast several times a minute. And I thought, “Wait, that can’t be right.” So I went looking. Hunted around Wikipedia, which is very likely where they got their information, and all I got was “It’s as old as Shakespeare”, so that was no help. I hunted around some more, looking for references to ancient Greek literature, but while I found some papers that have been written on the origin of jokes and how far back you can find references to things like people getting hit in the crotch (America’s Funniest Videos has been on HOW long?), I found no counter evidence to the “Shakespeare invented the Momma joke” argument. Anybody got some evidence to shoot this one down, or is it actually true?