Does a bear shit in the woods?


What does Does a bear shit in the woods? mean?

Does the bear shit in the wood? is a colloquial, slightly vulgar rhetorical question used ironically as an answer to a question whose answer is indubitably yes.


What's the origin of Does a bear shit in the woods??

This American-English rhetorical question has many different equivalents e.g.: Does the snake have knees? Does the Pope know Latin? etc. that come from the Jewish tradition of using sarcastic questions to show contempt for inappropriate comments.

It first occurred in written form, in a less vulgar form, namely “Does the bear live in the woods?” in The Indianapolis News in 1959 in a sports article.

Spread & Usage

How did Does a bear shit in the woods? spread?

Less vulgar colloquial of the term was used in journals all through the 1960s, and the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company used the term for an advertisement in 1975:

“Will you find great tire and service buys at our Annual Spring Celebration? Does a bear sleep in the woods?”

The phrase turned famous in 1994 after it appeared in season 7 episode 17 of the tv series Friends.

The first post was published about the term on Urban Dictionary first in 2004 and it skyrocketed in its popularity in 2005.

It is still part of the common language, what’s more, inspired dozens of memes and even merchandise, for example T-shirts.

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