George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Sat Dec 29 17:33:16 UTC 2001

My wife calls my attention to Bill Gallo's cartoon in the Daily News of
December 23, 2001, p. 82.  In the lower right corner of the drawing is
a diapered baby, with a pacifier in its mouth.  There is a label
reading "binky, the ol' reliable" and an arrow pointing to the pacifier.

This caught my wife's attention because her mother had called
pacifiers "binkies".  I've never heard the word and don't find it in
the usual dictionaries.  DARE has (1) "any little mechanical
contrivance" from 1912 and (2) as the answer to the question "the part
of the body that you sit on", 1968.

The lamented mother-in-law was born in southwestern Penn. in about 1904
to a family with roots there of several generations, and she lived
there all of her life.  I know that Bill Gallo is a New Yorker old
enough to have been in the marines during WWII, and his last name
suggests to me that he is not Scots Presbyterian.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998.

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