Was Bingo the farmer or the dog?

2004-01-27 18:08

Seen in this thread, we have the key question: Was Bingo the farmer or the dog?

Consider the source text, translated literally from Koine Greek:

There was a farmer had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o!

What’s that mean? Was the farmer named Bingo? Was the dog named Bingo? Some people say that Bingo was both farmer and dog. Some people say it’s clear that the dog is named Bingo, and that you cannot assign a name to a Farmer. Others say the Farmer is named Bingo, and that dogs don’t get names. Some say Bingo was fully farmer and fully dog.

Eventually, we have BingoForums, where you must agree to a creed to post in the sections restricted to Bingo-believers. The creed has gone a long way past what’s in the original text; it’s now all the things people have inferred from the text. We learn that BINGO must be spelled in all caps, for instance. We learn what kind of dog Bingo must have been, because we know that a good farmer will have a good farm dog, not some kind of poodle or something.

It’s all very hauntingly familiar. Me, I don’t really care; the point of the song is to have fun clapping your hands. Sometimes, it’d be more fun to just sing together, without worrying about the finicky details.

Peter Seebach

---

Comments

  1. seebs: Me, I don't really care; the point of the song is to have fun clapping your hands. Sometimes, it'd be more fun to just sing together, without worrying about the finicky details.

    You deny the True Presence of BINGO in the Clapping? "Fun clapping your hands" indeed. Next you'll be saying the Hokey Pokey _isn't_ what it's all about.

    I bet you're a member of the "Duck, Duck, Goose" cult, too.

    I'll be praying that BINGO will open your heart to true wisdom.

    — seebs_lawyer · 2004-01-28 00:10 · #

  2. That's not Koine Greek. Everyone knows that it's Spanish where you just stick -o on the end of real words to make Spanish ones.

    — melancthon · 2004-02-02 15:11 · #

  3. This seems pointless.
    And a waste of time...
    At any rate, it's not grammically correct, but the song suggests the dog is Bingo.
    You can't be fully sure, however.
    I'm sticking that the dog is Bingo, that's my gut feeling.

    — Keelin snicket. · 2008-03-13 17:28 · #

  4. See YAHOO Answers for a pole being taken on this.

    We know BINGO is a "pet name" and so we infur that (as kids we like things with fur)BINGO is the dog but in truth the sentence says the Farmer is the subject so it's Farmer Bingo we sing about ...but hey, it's no biggie!

    — MAK_HOO · 2008-05-13 07:34 · #

  5. The dog is suppose to be BINGO, but if you are using standard english teachings, the subject is the farmer... using the dog as a descriptor. Therefore, must not the farmer be BINGO? I would love to hear from an english professional, or professor. This is pretty pointless, but deeper thought are fraught from these. If the saying was: There was a farmer had a field, and BINGO was his name O, would the field be BINGO?

    — Truek9 · 2008-06-26 22:55 · #

  6. The dog is suppose to be BINGO, but if you are using standard english teachings, the subject is the farmer... using the dog as a descriptor. Therefore, must not the farmer be BINGO? I would love to hear from an english professional, or professor. This is pretty pointless, but deeper thought are fraught from these. If the saying was: There was a farmer had a field, and BINGO was his name O, would the field be BINGO?

    — Truek9 · 2008-06-26 22:55 · #

  7. I agree with Truek9's last point profoundly. The key word, IMO, is "his." Dogs, all else equal, are gender-neutral (especially if said dog has been fixed, removing forever any sense of masculinity or femininity), but (at the risk of offending any feminists who may read) farmers are generally taken to be male. A female farmer would probably be referred to as a "farmgirl" or "farmer's wife." Therefore, if Bingo were the dog's name, wouldn't the song go, "There was a farmer had a dog, and Bingo was ITS name-o"?

    Anyway, if a popular crooner could be named "Bing," I don't see any reason why a rural farmer might not be named "Bingo."

    — Roger · 2008-08-14 11:52 · #

 
---