I read once in a book of weird facts heard that slurping soup is technically illegal in New Jersey, and, looking it up, have found a ton of lists of "wacky laws" saying that this is true. Nothing I have found so far actually mentions the specific statute, though.

There are so many things unequivocally saying that this is true that I would like something clearly saying whether it is or (more likely) isn't true.

Is it true or was it ever true that slurping soup in New Jersey is illegal? If not, is it known how this claim originated?

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    For notability: a Google search gets a ton of results for this. Apr 23, 2020 at 18:17
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    Yeah I think the notability on this is pretty good. When I typed "slurp soup i" into the search bar, it auto suggested "slurp soup in New Jersey" as the top suggestion (and that was the only thing I tried). Also the results were obviously about it being supposedly illegal.
    – JMac
    Apr 23, 2020 at 19:40
  • @DanielRHicks the alleged law is mentioned in the 1949 American Magazine in Dick Hyman's "It's the Law" series. google.com/books/edition/The_American_Magazine/…
    – DavePhD
    Apr 23, 2020 at 21:12
  • @DavePhD: No results in this book for "illegal in new jersey" Apr 24, 2020 at 0:05
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    @NateEldredge slurp soup has a result google.com/books/edition/The_American_Magazine/… Apr 24, 2020 at 4:19

2 Answers 2


This nj.com article implies that it is a legal myth

In 228 years, New Jersey's racked up 100 printed volumes of law. Unfortunately, "the bizarre laws are not all in one volume," said Laura Tharney, executive director of the New Jersey Law Revision Commission, so old ones that seem strange today linger. Even more enduring? Our legal myths. "You can slurp soup and you can frown at a police officer," said Tharney.

And searching the New Jersey constitution and historical laws reveals no references to soup slurping.

  • +1 for finding a quote of an expert saying that there is no such law. But your personal searches aren't convincing. Maybe you didn't know the right terms.
    – Oddthinking
    May 2, 2020 at 15:57
  • But in law it would no doubt be called "ingurgitating". May 3, 2020 at 1:51


It is very difficult to prove a negative, but if it is a law, it must be written down. If it is written down, one of the hundreds of websites claiming that this is a law could easily point to either the exact law, or the interpretation of a law by a judge. No one ever has.

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    LOL - It must be illegal to slurp soup in New Jersey. I read it on the internet. Don't try to confuse me with facts.
    – MaxW
    Apr 23, 2020 at 21:07
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    I just realized I wrote the generic answer to every single one of those lol crazy old law questions.
    – pipe
    Apr 23, 2020 at 21:28
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    But it is logically flawed. This is an answer based purely on a theoretical model. We expect answers to be based on empirical evidence rather than speculative predictions. Who says those sites want to link to the laws, or would if they could, or that the original claim was written after about 1998? Who says "No one ever has." - perhaps dozens of people have.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 24, 2020 at 4:41
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    I have searched the current NJ law, and it doesn't contain soup in this sense, but that still leaves old law, regulations and, most likely, that the law isn't specific to soup - it is about being offensive in public or similar.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 24, 2020 at 8:40
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    It's also possible that "in New Jersey" is not intended to mean by New Jersey law, but in a local bylaw somewhere in New Jersey.
    – gerrit
    Apr 24, 2020 at 9:13

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