The answer to the riddle "What is black and white and read all over" is a newspaper. The riddle first appeared in print in 1859 in the Christian Inquirer and was used as a tag line for the Marion, Ohio, Daily Star newspaper in 1880.Continue Reading
The riddle plays off the homophones "red" and "read." Other answers, based on the "red" homophone, are a zebra with a sunburn or an embarrassed zebra. Due to this specific homophone, it's difficult to translate the riddle into a foreign language without changing the metaphor.
The riddle's history continued into the 20th century, when it appeared in 21 riddle and joke collection books from 1917 to 1974.Learn more about Brainteasers