A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Why did the stoner put laxatives in weed brownies?"/"For shits and giggles.” (3/22)
“Mondays are the potholes in the road of life” (3/22)
“Chocolate is nature’s way of making up for Mondays” (3/22)
“All you need is love and a good cup of coffee” (3/22)
“Caffeine isn’t a drug, it’s a vitamin” (3/22)
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Entry from May 16, 2016
“Which is faster, hot or cold?"/"Hot, because you can catch a cold”

"Cold” (temperature) and “cold” (sickness) have been used in several puns, including this old standard:

Q: Which is fastest, hot or cold?
A: Hot, because you can catch a cold.


The riddle has been cited in print since at least 1851, when it was called “The Deacon’s last conundrum.”


21 January 1851, Detroit (MI) Free Press, pg. 3, col. 2: 
The ”Deacon’s“ last conundrum;—Which is the quickest, heat or cold? Heat, because you can catch cold.

20 June 1851, Delphi (IN) Weekly Journal, pg. 1, col. 5:
SPEED.—The Deacon’s conundrum»— Which is the quickest, beat or cold?— Heat; because you can catch a cold.

10 July 1851, The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), pg. 2, col. 5:
Which is the quickest, heat or cold? Heat; because you can catch a cold.

Google Books
29 August 1863, The Boy’s Miscellany (London), pg. 384, col. 2:
Which is the fastest, heat or cold? — Heat; because you can catch a cold.

Chronicling America
16 January 1883, Semi-Weekly Interior Journal (Stanford, KY), pg. 1, col. 3:
Which travels fastest, heat or cold? Heat; because you can catch a cold!

Google Books
The Mirth of a Nation
By Jimmy Lyons
New York, NY: Vantage Press, Inc.
1953
Pg. 27:
Which travels faster, heat or cold? Heat, because you can catch a cold easy.

Google Books
1001 Cool School Yard Jokes
By Glen Singleton
Heatherton, Victoria: Hinkler Books
2004
Pg. 18:
Science teacher: ‘Which travels faster, heat or cold?’
Student: ‘Heat, because you can catch a cold.

Google Books
Side-Splitting Riddles
Illustrated by Kevin Rechin
Columbus, OH: Highlights for Children, Inc.
2012
Pg. ?;
Which is faster—hot or cold?
Hot, because you can catch a cold.

reddit
What is faster Hot or cold?
submitted May 17, 2016 by ultrasound9887
Hot, because you can catch a cold.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTime/Weather • Monday, May 16, 2016 • Permalink