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Onomatopoeic. The name "ping-pong" was in wide use before British manufacturer J. Jaques & Son Ltd trademarked it in 1901. Jaques sold the rights to the "ping-pong" name in the United States to Parker Brothers. Registered in the United States in 1930, Ping-Pong (with dash) is still a registered wordmark of Parker Brothers, Inc.[1] Contrary to a common misconception, the word does not originate from Chinese 乒乓 (pīngpāng), though there are possibilities that the coiners encountered Chinese themselves.


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ping pong (uncountable)

  1. Table tennis.
    • 1900, Daily Chronicle[1], published 1905, May 8, page 6/6:
      Our correspondent seems to hope that the unclean, playing Ping-Pong with the clean, will become unpleasantly conscious of his uncleanness and reform.
  2. (figuratively) An instance of figuratively bouncing something or someone back and forth.
    • 1909, Thaddeus L. Bolton, “On the Efficacy of Consciousness”, in Frederick James Eugene Woodbridge and Wendell T. Bush, editor, The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods[2], volume 6, New York: The Science Press, page 424:
      To be conscious is to be subject to just such a ping-pong of recurring nervous activities that effect muscle tone on one side and brain discharge on the other.
  3. (Britain, Parliament) The exchange of proposed amendments between the two houses of parliament, particularly at the end of a session when compromises have to be made to complete the legislative process within the limited time available.
  4. (dated) A size of photograph a little larger than a postage stamp.
    • 1909, James Boniface Schriever, Commercial, press, scientific photography (page 401)
      As only bust or half-length figures are all the ping pong photographer attempts, only one or two small plain backgrounds is all that is necessary. Generally two are used, a light one and a dark one.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit




ping pong (third-person singular simple present ping pongs, present participle ping ponging, simple past and past participle ping ponged)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To figuratively bounce or be bounced back and forth.
  2. (intransitive) To play the game of ping pong.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ USPTO trademark serial numbers 71295230, 71295231 and 71564016

Further readingEdit


Italian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia it


ping pong m (invariable)

  1. ping pong



Spanish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia es


From English ping pong, originally a trademark. See more at ping pong.


  • IPA(key): /pinˈpon/, [pĩnˈpõn]


ping pong m (uncountable)

  1. (sports) ping pong
  2. (by extension) a back and forth or volatile fluctuation of anything
    un ping pong emocionalan emotional fluctuation


Derived termsEdit