The Origins Of Banter


Banter, Bants, Bant or simply B. We all know of it, some of us embrace it whilst others actively avoid it. However, whilst we all know of it, do you know where it came from? 

Follow us as we guide you through the banter of the ages and you will soon be able to banter with the authority of David Attenborough talking about lizards.

Ancient Bant

The first ever recorded banter was a product of those crazy Thais at around 6000BC. While crude and impossibly tame by today’s standards, it undeniable is banter.


It shows a man (on the left) being slapped across the head by a man with unusually long arms whilst another man (far right) levitates a dog with a bow and arrow.

Although you may scoff at the idea of these being the sort of antics one might get up to on a prehistoric stag night, you must also respect it as without it there would be no Dapper Laughs. And that’s a life not worth living.

Regency Jesting

Skip forward a couple of years and you arrive in the mid to late 18th century where you couldn’t move for monarchs and everyone had a horse.


Painted by an unknown artist, this piece was originally named “Your Mum” and was sent to a good friend of his. However, upon realising that the woman in the painting resembled Catherine the Great, the friend sold it for a hefty sum resulting in banter all around, as the artist lost out on a sale.

Catherine the Great allegedly tried to have it off with a horse, an example of banter going too far.

Grand Victorian High Jinx 


In the late Victorian times, séances were all the rage. People would gather around to see if they could try to freak out their mates by rocking the table whilst a woman (chosen because they were seen as sensitive) would try to channel the lads from the cave painting as they wanted a proper laugh.

Patriarchal Laughs

The 1940s were practically a bi-word for banter. Just look at this. Need we say more?


After the War, the men of the world needed a bit of a wind-down and what better way than to patronise their adoring wives?

Infact, the word Banter itself comes from the colloquial, Victorian term, to “Rant at her” which soon became “Ranter” which eventually was written with an extra flourish on the capital “R” by a drunken scholar to become the word we all know and love today.

This is where the famous phrase “She and I enjoyed some Banter…together”, which has recently come back into popularity, derives from.

Banter of the present

You know when you’re uncompromisingly awful to a really close friend, when you just say the worst kind of things, the kind of things that would usually put you in a hospital bed if you said them to anyone else?

BANTAAAAR!!!! It’s great isn’t it? We all just love banter. Still.

 “What the f**k is this p***k doing in here? What’s he offering?’ Why the f**k are you in here? What are you? What sort of skill have you got?”

– Jimmy Bullard (UK Banter ambassador) to a close friend BeFunky_jimmy.jpg

Perhaps today’s most well-known form of banter, treating your friends like some kind of puppy strangler, was thought to have derived from when feminism rose to prominence and men could no longer insult their wives on a regular basis, consequence free.

And so to pass the monotonous hours of domesticated life, they would meet up with their friends at the local pub and take to insulting each other instead.

Banter is enjoying a renaissance at the present, everyone and their mums are having a crack at the whip. But lest we forget who we owe this too; three pioneers and their floating dog, the brave men who explored new frontiers of having a bit of a laugh and whose methods have been adopted by football commentators and men with terrible hair alike.

Disclaimer – This is all 100% Banter

Written By Alfie Powell 

Image sources: Regal Thailand Ridgebacks Western Civilisation II Bored Panda Express


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