Today’s morning name, which led me back to an onomatomanic Zippy strip from 7/3/21 (yes, I work extremely slowly):

(#1) Zippyesque repetitive phrase disorder, aka onomatomania, fixated on exploding magic bingo bombs

This being a Zippy strip, exploding magic bingo bombs are a real thing; Bill Griffith doesn’t just make up stuff like this.

But first, the morning name, the interjection / exclamation bingo!.

Lexicographic notes. The short story, from NOAD:

noun bingo: a game in which players mark off numbers on cards as the numbers are drawn randomly by a caller, the winner being the first person to mark off five numbers in a row or another required pattern: [as modifier]: a bingo hall.

exclamation bingo: [a] used to express satisfaction or surprise at a sudden positive event or outcome: bingo, she leapfrogged into a sales trainee position. [b] a call by someone who wins a game of bingo. [sense [b] is of course the older one; NOAD lists sense [a] first because it’s now the most frequent usage]

Then the longer historical story, from the 1972 OED:

— on the noun bingo:

Etymology: Of obscure origin, but compare bing int.

A modern development of lotto …. often played in public halls, etc., for prizes [1st cite 1927]

— on the interjection bingo:

= bing int.; spec. an exclamation made by someone winning a game of bingo

[1st cite:] 1927 E. Wallace Ringer (1952) xxiii. 93 I just laid my hands on him when — bingo! I was on the ground with four inches of good knife in me.

— on the noun and interjection bing

Etymology: Echoic, representing a sudden banging noise or blow.

A. n.. A thump or blow. dialect

B. int. All of a sudden; in a flash; with a bang. [1st cite 1922, Joyce’s Ulysses]

(I discover, on searching through my files, that I’m fond of the interjection / exclamation bingo. For an example, see the mansexual bonus at the end of this posting.)

bingo balls. The N + N compound N bingo ball is subsective — a bingo ball is a ball (‘a spherical object or mass of material’ (NOAD)) — and Type O, with one of the ordinary, conventional, semantic relationships between its head and modifier — it’s a Use compound (‘a ball used in / for bingo’), similar to tennis ball (referring to a ball used in or for the game of tennis) or walker ball (referring to a ball used on or for the assistive device the walker; entertainingly, walker balls are often just adapted tennis balls).

(Having the mind I do, I entertain fleeting thoughts of bingo ball as involving instead the head noun ball ‘testicle’ in a Resemblance compound ‘ball like the ones used in bingo’, so referring to a hard, shiny testicle, perhaps with a number and letter printed on it. “Poor Jimmy, he’s got bingo balls” (and maybe also joo joo eyeball and feet down below his knee).)

Ok, the actual objects: a bingo ball set from the wholesaleBINGOsupplies site:

(#2) [catalog copy:] Double numbered coated bingo balls. Full set of all 75 numbers. High quality, professional style. 1.5″ diameter. For use in 12″ in diameter cages and bingo blower machines. Available in set with multiple colors or solid color sets of Blue, Green, White and Red.

bingo bombs. The  N + N compound bingo bomb, apparently a play on bingo ball, but also a subsective compound — a bingo bomb is a bomb (‘an explosive device’, or more expansively, ‘a container filled with explosive, incendiary material, smoke, gas, or other destructive substance, designed to explode on impact or when detonated by a time mechanism, remote-control device, or lit fuse’ (NOAD)) — with the semantics of, apparently, an eccentric Source or Resemblance compound exploiting the play on bingo ball (‘a bomb made from / resembling a bingo ball’).

Who would have imagined that bingo balls could be turned into little bombs? What a grotesque idea.

Well, not quite. It turns out that the bingo in bingo bomb isn’t the noun referring to the lotto-like game, or even the interjection mimicking the exulting cry of a bingo winner, but a noun evoking the interjection bing ‘with a bang’. From the Lybrary site, on the ebook Bingo Bango: A Brief History of the Bingo Shooting Device (2021) by Jeff Stone:


This small spring-loaded Bingo Shooting Device causes a loud bang by exploding a gunpowder cap.

According to its creator, S.S. Adams, “. . . It goes off with a loud bang when moved or disturbed. This little fun-maker can be used for jokes in a hundred different ways. Place it in a napkin or magazine, under a plate, cigarette box, hat, etc. [it’s] entirely harmless and always creates a big laugh.”

What is this Bingo Shooting Device? From the Amazon site selling the book:

(#4) It’s small and flat and utterly unspherical (unball-like) and has no visible connection to bingo-playing — but it does explode with a BANG! (well, its contents explode, making a big noise; then the device can be reset, to explode again another day)

I can’t decide whether I’m relieved or disappointed that Zippy’s exploding magic bingo bombs aren’t actually bingo balls. (I was saddened by the senseless waste of bingo balls and worried about shards of hard plastic flying about dangerously, but I admit to a boyish delight at having things blow up.)

The mansexual bonus. (Not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.) The interjection bingo in action (also the interjection yum). From AZBlogX on 1/19/11, in the posting “In praise of little guys”, an appreciation of short men, small in frame, with compact bodies (with further commentary from me in square brackets):

… an absolutely perfect instance of the [short and small-boned] man I had in mind … That’s a very nice dick, but it’s neither large nor fully erect [actually, to my tastes, sweet]. He’s in good shape but not really what I’d call athletic. His body is lightly haired. And his face is lightly stubbled. Bingo. [a (relatively) little guy, a nice guy]

For lagniappe, he’s wearing a cowboy hat, and nothing else. The hat is a nice cowboy hat, with a subtly patterned band, not the sort of cowboy hat you’d want to get soaked with sweat. A somewhat faggy cowboy hat, in other words.  What I think of as a Fuck Me Hat. Yum. Here [for WordPress modesty, wearing a merkin]:

Bob in His Hat
It was actually listed in the catalogue as
“Fuck-Me Hat”. It wasn’t cheap,
But Bob had no complaints.

2 Responses to “Bingo!”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    A prosodic note: the mantra that Zippy is fixated on is, in fact, a line of trochaic tetrameter (that mainstay of folk and pop poetry of all sorts), with an extrametrical leading W and a short final foot:

    (W)SW SW SW S

  2. Robert Coren Says:

    A somewhat whimsical alternative interpretation for bingo ball is an event combining dancing and the filling in of bingo cards.

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