The wonderful creation of Pierce in Zits:

binge-bingeing is the PRP form of a verb to binge-binge, which is an instance of one or the other of two different compound V constructions of the form to N + V, whose semantic and pragmatic differences are small enough to ignore here.

The two patterns:

(DV) either a direct verbing of a N + N compound (the compound N + binge in this case, e.g. a cheese binge ‘a binge on cheese’ > to cheese-binge ‘to experience a cheese binge, to binge on cheese’); OR

(BF) a 2pbfV (two-part back-formed V) based on a synthetic compound N + V (the PRP synthetic compound binge + Ving in this case, e.g. binge-eating ‘eating in binges’ > to binge-eat ‘to eat in binges’)

Both patterns for to N + V are well-attested, and they are subtly different in their semantics or pragmatics: in DV, the N is more prominent (in to cheese-binge, it’s about the cheese as the object of bingeing), while in BF the V is more prominent (in to binge-eat, it’s about bingeing as the style of eating). For to binge-binge, we have either a DV glossable roughly as ‘to binge on binges’ or a BF glossable roughly as ‘to binge in binges’. For Pierce’s purposes in the cartoon, this subtlety isn’t important.

(In what follows, I’ll use bingeing (rather than binging) as the spelling for  the PRP of binge (except when citing sources, where I’ll report the spelling the source uses). There’s no issue of consequence here. Similarly, I’ll cite the compound Vs in hyphenated (rather than separated) spellings — binge-eat (rather than binge eat) — though in citations I will of course use whatever spellings my sources do.)

Background: binge in NOAD2.

noun a short period devoted to indulging in an activity to excess, especially drinking alcohol or eating: he went on a binge and was in no shape to drive | a spending binge | [as modifier] : binge eating.

verb [no obj] indulge in an activity, especially eating, to excess: some dieters say they cannot help binging on chocolate | (as noun binging) : her secret binging and vomiting.

ORIGIN early 19th cent.: of unknown origin

The DV to N-binge. A considerable number of examples focusing on common objects of bingeing: favorite special foods or activities, in particular. Three food examples, three activity examples:

Yes my arteries clogged slightly on this but every once in a blue moon, you just need to cheese binge. (link)

Overall, this is a great little spot for a date or if you want to sushi binge alone. (link)

Kids will be less likely to candy-binge on a full stomach (link)

Mostly I used to chess binge randomly over the years. (link)

She ate pizza and chocolate, TV-binged on classic movies and real housewives … (link)

the tendency to Minecraft binge cannot be all that good for a rounded development [of a child]. (link)

The BF to binge-V. Though the historical record is hard to piece out, binge-drinking seems to have been the first of the synthetic compounds (without context, bingeing refers to binge-drinking), with binge-eating following, and then binge-spending and more recently binge-watching (of television). All of the synthetic compounds were quickly back-formed, to yield to binge-drink etc.

On binge-watching, from Wikipedia:

Binge-watching, also called binge-viewing or marathon-viewing, is the practice of watching television for a long time span, usually of a single television show. In a survey conducted by Netflix in February 2014, 73% of people define binge-watching as “watching between 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting.” Binge-watching as an observed cultural phenomenon has become popular with the rise of online media services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video with which the viewer can watch television shows and movies on-demand.

The idea of assembling several consecutive episodes of a television series in order and watching them in rapid succession originated with the marathon, in which the television stations themselves programmed several hours’ worth of reruns of a single series. This practice began in the 1980s and is still popular among subscription television outlets.

The usage of the word “binge-watch” can be traced as far back as the late 1990s, when it was used by circles of television fandoms. It has consisted of watching several episodes of a particular show in a row via DVD sets. Prior to the introduction of the DVD format, it was commonplace to record multiple episodes, or even entire miniseries to videotape to watch later in a single viewing session. The word’s usage was popularized with the advent of on-demand viewing and online streaming. In 2013, the word “exploded” into mainstream use when Netflix started releasing episodes of its serial programming simultaneously. 61% of the Netflix survey participants said that they binge watch regularly.

Bonus. Since this is the eve of Mother’s Day in the U.S., we got a USA Today article yesterday, “5 things to binge-watch this Mother’s Day weekend” by Kelly Lawler. Some of the suggestions are one-shot views, not serial pleasures, so they’re just recommendations for watching, not actually binge-watching, but let that pass. They’re also focused on mother-daughter relationships, rather than mothers in action in general (though there are lots of tv shows with interesting mothers featured in them):

Gilmore Girls (tv), Mamma Mia! (movie), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (tv) (esp. s3 e6 “Band Candy”), The Fosters (tv), Anywhere But Here (movie)

My own binge-watching this morning has been a set of four Charlie Chan movies from the 40s — a riveting exercise in social and cinematic history.


2 Responses to “binge-bingeing”

  1. Merlebird Says:

    “Without context, bingeing refers to binge-drinking[.]”

    Would there be an easy way to Google Ngram this to confirm? My sense of the term is that, absent any context, “bingeing” implies binge-eating (likely primed by the collocation “bingeing and purging”). My spitball hypothesis would be that discussions of eating disorders are more salient for women of my generation than men of yours, but it may just be idiosyncratic on my part.

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