I really hate to ask this one, but...

When I was a child, some thirty plus years ago, there was a popular juvenile game where you would try to trick a friend into asking a question that could be answered with the mildly obscene reply "deez nuts!" (meaning "these testicles"). Sample:

Jokester: Did you get that CD?
Victim: What CD?
Jokester: See deez nuts!

Apparently everything old is new again --I was recently ambushed with a "deez nuts" joke by some current teenagers of my acquaintance. Upon investigation, the old chestnut has apparently returned to currency due to a series of popular Vine videos starring a young man of amazingly unusual looks.

However, my question is this --where did the joke originally come from? Does it date from the 80's or is it even older? I'm fairly certain it originates somewhere within the black American urban subculture --maybe a skit on a rap album? I've done some research, but all the citations trace back only to the recent videos, nothing any further.

  • 1
    Deez Nutz for President!
    – user98990
    Sep 17, 2015 at 22:26

2 Answers 2


Berkeley High School Slang Dictionary - Page 26 Rick Ayers - 2004

Deez-nuts (deez nutz) n., Literally, these testicles.
Used to refer to oneself. "I'm not going to let anyone mess with deez-nuts."
Also: Negative response to a question. “Hey, pass that joint.” “Deez-nuts.”
[Origin : Hip Hop]

A 1985 reference:

The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and UnconventionalThe New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional ... Eric Partridge, ‎Tom Dalzell, ‎Terry Victor - 2006

“I'm not going to let anyone mess with deez-nuts”— Peter Smith and Fred M Barritt, Bermewjan Vurds. p. 18, 1985

Contradicting that is:

Deez nuts is a phrase that originated from the song "Deeez Nuuuts" on
Dr. Dre's original album "The Chronic", released in 1992.

Also, incomplete:

Cassell's Dictionary of Slang - Page 393 Jonathon Green - 2005

deez (nuts) n. [1990s+] (US Black) the testicles; the male genitals.
[SE these + NUTS n.2 (1)] def adj. [1970s+] (orig. US Black) perfect, excellent, first-rate.
[? Black pron. of SE death or abbr. SE definitive. Note 1907 cit. in Cassidy [???]

  • 1
    It's definitely at least 15-20 years older than that... Apr 23, 2015 at 3:44
  • I see you edited some new info into this post. I'm sure The Chronic gave it a new wave of popularity, but it's older than that.... The 1985 citation seems about the right date, but it doesn't give any origins. Apr 23, 2015 at 12:47
  • Does there have to be an "origin"? deez sounds like these, it's the kind of thing that kids just make up. It's like asking who invented "Duck, Duck, Goose!"
    – Barmar
    Apr 27, 2015 at 21:38
  • I suspect the revival is related to the popularity of the z sound, and other urban mispronunciations, in hip-hop culture.
    – Barmar
    Apr 27, 2015 at 21:39
  • I've thought about it more, and it's possible that The Chronic is the right origin for its entry into mainstream culture --I could be misremembering hearing it earlier than that. I'm going to mark this accepted. May 7, 2015 at 16:35

"Deez Nuts" may be ultimately derived from Dr. Dre's album, Chronic, or merely juvenile silliness.

But in 2015, the expression was popularized, or repopularized, by a viral meme created by Instagram user WelvendaGreat.

According to knowyourmeme.com:

"Deez Nuts is the punchline of a conversational joke that involves asking someone a vaguely-phrased question to solicit a follow-up question in response, typically in the form of one of the five Ws, before yelling out the said phrase in an obnoxious manner. While originally introduced as a skit track on Dr. Dre's 1992 rap album Chronic, the joke saw a huge resurgence after it was featured in a short comedic sketch by Internet comedian WelvenDaGreat in early 2015."


  • 2
    The other answer has a 1985 citation, predating Dr. Dre's album.
    – Laurel
    Dec 12, 2018 at 22:56

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