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The Scoville Joke

By William Herff:


  • Knowledge of the Scoville Scale*

  • Knowledge of the word, ville**

  • “Hot” being used as a word to describe spice and attractiveness.

*The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency of chili peppers, as recorded in Scoville Heat Units, based on the concentration of capsaicinoids, among which capsaicin is the predominant component.

**Ville is the French word nowadays meaning "city" or "town", but its meaning in the Middle Ages was "farm" and then "village". The derivative suffix -ville is commonly used in names of cities, towns and villages, particularly throughout France, Canada and the United States.


A true 16 million out of 15 million, he is way too hot to live in Scoville.


A true 16 million out of 15 million-

The writer assumes a fundamental knowledge of the Scoville Scale, which currently has a cap of 15 million Scoville units (see diagram below). Therefore, 16 million would exceed the scale's known limit.

He is way too hot to live in Scoville-

Now that we know the writer exceeds the scale, this next part isn’t too hard to understand. No longer within the range of the scale, the writer is saying he is too physically hot to live in Scoville. The joke here lies in the double meaning of the word, “Scoville.” It is being used as a reference to the Scoville Scale, of course, as well as a fictitious ville or town named Scoville, which the writer can no longer live in because he exceeds the limit of 15 million Scoville Units.

Closing Remarks:

Congratulations! This joke is now yours to take. Use it wisely, and if anymore questions arise, feel free to shoot me an email,


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