Happy June everybody. The sun is shining here and the birds chirping so this week’s word is a happy one – binkying. I came across it in “The Simple Things” magazine which is one of those rare things – a magazine without celebrity gossip or makeup tips. Instead they focus on unusual people, foraging, the outdoors, and simple things to add joy to your life.
Perhaps you know binky, but it was new to me. Binkying is a big twisty hop rabbits do when they’re happy. Humans don’t often jump for joy much beyond the age of ten, but apparently rabbits never lost the trick. Binky is also an informal term for a soft toy or blanket that a small child loves and sleeps with.
The word history for binky is murky at best. First record of usage appears to be 1935 but origin is given as a Binky, a rabbit character in “Life is Hell” a comic book series by Matt Groening in 1977. Yes, Matt went on to create “The Simpsons”.
American readers will probably also know binky as a brand of baby soother/pacifier and a trademark since 1935 in the U.S.A.. Keen readers of Terry Pratchett’s wonderful Discworld fantasy novels will also know that Death’s horse in the series was called Binky.
Word Detective adds that binky pre-dates the trademark as a term for a small item in 1912 and one of the commenters there adds the gem that in Edwardian England the names given to as yet unnamed girl babies was Bunty and for boy babies it was Binky.
The trail for the origin of binky wanders through both baby and bunny history without reaching a true conclusion, but I’d be betting the rabbits got there first. All I know for sure is that if I ever get a pet rabbit it will be either Bunty or Binky.
Until next time happy reading, writing, and wordfooling,