Go ahead. Look at the word and try not to sing the children’s song. I dare you. 😉

And interestingly, the song about the farmer’s dog is the oldest attest use of the word bingo, which I never knew. There aren’t really any theories about where it came from otherwise, but the song is referenced in a play from 1854, so it must have been commonplace well before then. Although, ahem, that reference was actually a story of using the song as a drinking game. Each person had to do a letter and if they made a mistake, they had to drink.

There is some uncertain connection to bingo being a slang word for brandy, actually, dating to the 1690s…so perhaps the idea of using the song as a drinking game has some history to it. Certainly, it became a euphemism for “liquor” by the 1860s, and one must wonder how much that popular play, “The Americans at Home” had to do with it.

The game of chance is from 1924…presumably because a year earlier, shouting out “Bingo!” as an exclamation of surprise or sudden realization became popular.

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