B is for Binky

jeevessandWhen I hear the word binky, I always smile. If Binky isn’t the name of one of Bertie Wooster’s friends then surely it should be. Among so many Gussies, Montys, Bingos and Berties, a Binky would certainly feel at home. But Binky isn’t the name of a person, it’s the name of a thing. And that thing is a pacifier, or what I would call, a dummy.

Binky is one of those trade names that has become part of the language. Binky is a Playtex brand but is also now a commonly word used for all pacifiers which (and this might just be me) seem to be more common over here than in Britain. My own experience with binkies is limited. Child 1 and child 2 spat theirs out. Child 3 was practically born sucking her thumb.

My main thought about the word binky, as I started writing this, was that it’s just so much friendlier and cuter than dummy. But while looking for a binky photograph to illustrate this post I came across some pictures from a 2012 ad campaign by Playtex, suggesting their pacifiers are perfect “for difficult little people.”And cute is not where Playtex is going.


Just before I insert the pictures, here’s another of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (of House fame and not, as so many people over here think, an American at all) as Jeeves and Wooster. I rather think my face was a bit like Bertie’s when I saw these these ads.

Can’t decide if I love them or hate them, but there’s no getting away from those Union Jack shoes on the skinhead kid. Enjoy.

Playtex Yakuza BabyPlaytex Punk Girl

Playtex Tattoo Boy


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Shannon says:

    As an American, I have to say that I did not grow up calling them Binky’s. I think it can either be a regional thing, or even a family thing. My husband’s family calls them Nuby’s – because of the Nuby brand – although it took me months of being a mother to make that connection. I always just called them pacifiers. I NEVER called it a Binky, almost out of principal. I called them a pacifer, or paci, and my children morphed that to fafoo and baboo. So perhaps being from Britain is not the disadvantage:)

    1. The Translator says:

      Can being from Britain ever be a disadvantage?? (Don’t feel you have to answer that!!)

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