Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 21:50:53 -0400
From: Seth Sklarey crissiet[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IPOF.FLA.NET
Subject: Re: zapping, zappers & binger-bongers
I'm back from a long trip to France where I was not on-line (probably
I have a question about "le zapping" that y'all can help me with.
The term is very general now in France with the specific meaning of
using a remote control to change TV channels. I'm trying to determine
if it is a pseudo-Anglicism forged by the French. While we can all
"zap" a commercial, I know of no term for this practice as "zapping".
The mystery is that the OED (2nd ed) lists it as an Americanism, but
quotes only two British newspapers as authorities and furnishes no
other attestations of it. Nor is it to be found with this sense in
any of the many dictionaries of slang and new words that I have
So, does anyone out there know anything about where "zapping" might be
lurking in North America? What terms do you use for this practice, if any?
Channel surfing? Others?
University of Alabama
MPICONE[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UA1VM.UA.EDU
I would guess an origin in a comic book such as Batman but I don't really
know. However, my ex-wife is the only one I ever heard who called the
zapping device a binger-bonger, which I prefer over channel changer, clicker,
or anything else. What say you all?
Wittgenstein School of the Unwritten Word
Coconut Grove, FL