Time for another episode of Slang Terms for Unwanted Body Features! (Need to review? Go here.) This week the term is "bingo wings," which I encountered for the first time in this blog post over at The Thoughtful Dresser. None of the commenters expressed puzzlement over the usage, so perhaps I'm late to the party. Here's the Wikipedia definition, which (shock!) is not notable for its objectivity:
Bingo wings is a slang term used to describe the build-up of fat and or flaccid muscle that hangs from the underside of the upper arms. It occurs most frequently in elderly ladies and overweight people. The problem may also occur after significant weight loss, with flaps of loose skin remaining. The term apparently originated from the bingo hall custom of raising one's arm aloft and bellowing "House!". This ties in due to bingo long being the entertainment of choice for large numbers of elderly ladies, especially in the United Kingdom.
Especially in the United Kingdom? Wow, that's really news to me. Who knew bingo was so big over there? On the other hand, are we even talking about the same bingo? Here's what I'm talking about:
I'm picturing multiple gridded cards, randomly selected balls, a caller ("B-54! G-16!"), and an array of lucky fetish objects lined up in front of each player's playing area.
But in my version of bingo--the Las Vegas version, the Reno version, the church-fundraiser version--nobody bellows "House!" The only word to bellow is, of course, "Bingo!"*
So maybe the UK bingo is this game, also known as housie or housey:
This looks scarily like the inscrutable Sudoku to me, so I'm just going to tiptoe away.
There's also a card game called bingo. News to me, but my card-playing expertise reached its peak with Go Fish.
Back to the wings. It's not as though I've never seen the phenomenon or heard it described--just not in this very evocative way. I've heard "underarm flaps," which is accurate if a bit pedestrian. And I've heard "bat wings," which sounds so much uglier and less jovial than "bingo wings." Besides, "bingo wings" has that charming little internal rhyme that makes the condition seem almost cute.
Not to a plastic surgeon, though. If you're unhappy with your bingo wings, you may want to consult someone like this for a "procedure"--a brachioplasty, to use the term of art.
Hey, he'll probably do a FUPA-plasty, too.
* "Bingo" is also a term in Scrabble: it's a play in which all seven tiles are used, earning the player a bonus of 50 points. I never knew this until I started playing computer Scrabble.