‘Bingo’ Gets a New Definition, Courtesy of Childfree Adults


In earlier posts about harsh descriptors of parents (#1 on the list: “breeders”), I mentioned “Childfree Bingo,” a game available at many places online. It also goes by “Breeder Bingo.”

Each square of a 5×5 grid is a phrase frequently heard by childfree people. “You’ll change your mind one day,” for example. Or, “What about the family last name?”, “The only reason to get married is to have children.” And, the ever popular, “Who will take care of you when you’re old?”

In reality, childless-by-chance women aren’t exempt from hearing comments like these, either. Their gameboard might include a few intrusive comments that don’t fit the by-choice vibe, like “So, why can’t you have kids?”.

Anyway, I knew the gameboard existed, and I could understand its popularity, even as I rejected some of the language attached to it. What I didn’t know is that you don’t have to yell “Bingo!” to use the word as a verb.

Trolling through the Net and re-visiting sites listed here as Resources, I found several references in discussion streams like this:

“Don’t let your family bingo you about your decision to be childfree. Stand your ground”

“I was so surprised when my sister bingoed me. I thought we were past that.”

“Went home for a visit to bingo-land.”

The no-kids community has its own code word? Who knew?

The idea of it – this particular word, at least – scrunched up my eyebrows. I got it. I sorta liked it.  But, I sorta didn’t.  Finally, I decided that what was troubling me was the emotions behind it.

In each of the above examples, ‘bingo’ is shorthand for “someone close said something about my child-free status that bothered me, hurt me or pissed me off.” Five little letters charged with describing exasperation, anger or pain. So easy to sum it all up with a casual ‘I was bingo-ed’ and mull over inner responses over time.


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3 Responses to “‘Bingo’ Gets a New Definition, Courtesy of Childfree Adults”

  1. […] ‘BINGO’ GETS A NEW DEFINITION, COURTESY OF CHILDFREE ADULTS – Living childfree by choice takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage.  You’ll find that many people do not accept your decision and make it their personal mission in life to berate you.  That means besides being strong and courageous, you must also have the ability to make light of certain situations.  This blog post talks about one of the ways that you can laugh off the criticism you receive from “well meaning” friends and family.  Read it before someone has the chance to to say, “You’d make a great parent!”  […]

  2. pooslie says:

    i have seen the breeder bingo but have not heard the term “bingo’ed” before. I think if the title were more along the lines of “childless bingo” wouldn’t be offensive to me at all. “breeder” seems like an insult (like when people call others’ kids “crotch fruit”) and is unnecessary. why make it us vs them?

    otherwise though, i agree with the bingo 100%. It gets really tiring having to justify my life choices to friends/family/STRANGERS (the worst is actually my sister who is a single mom and will be really frustrated with her son in one breath and the next be telling me how i should have a kid) and now that i know the term bingo, i may start using it but more in a “oh here comes the bingo” to make myself chuckle lighten my own mood.

    there are actually a lot of these type of boards. my favorite being “renaissance/medieval faire bingo” because it is funny if a little too accurate of the silly things you see there :) (this coming from a hard-core rennie)

    • Karen Malone Wright says:

      I think I’ll use “bingo” inside my own head, too, when needed. What I love most about your comment? When I’m asked what types of women read this site, now I can include “hard-core rennies”! Thanks for sharing.

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