Buzzword bingo

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Successful John McCain Buzzword Bingo in a TV debate about the 2008 US presidential election

Buzzword Bingo , in the later spread also bullshit bingo and group talk Bingo called, is of a humorous variant bingo that -Spiels often meaningless use of many keywords in lectures, presentations or meetings satirizes .


Instead of bingo cards with numbers cards with key words (English. Buzzwords ) used. In contrast to the original bingo, in which the numbers to be deleted are drawn from a lottery drum, words are deleted when they are mentioned. If the row, column or diagonal is completely filled, the player should stand up according to the rules and shout “Bingo” or, to emphasize the empty content of the word phrases, “Bullshit”. With the game and this exclamation, the excessive use of often empty keywords is criticized at the same time.


Buzzword bingo for lectures on library science

The game was created in 1993 by Silicon Graphics in Mountain View . It was there that the scientist Tom Davis came up with the idea for the game while attending a presentation in which many keywords were used. He wrote a program in the C programming language that generated bingo cards that were filled with the appropriate keywords. He then distributed these to his employees and called his idea Buzzword Bingo . A little later, his colleague Chris Pirazzi developed a web version of the program that was publicly accessible and thus led to the further distribution of the game. When Scott Adams picked up the idea in one of his Dilbert cartoons in 1994 , the game became known to a wider public and quickly became popular.

The game gained further media attention in 1996 when the then US Vice President Al Gore , who was said to have a penchant for buzzwords, gave a speech to a senior year at MIT and the students distributed cards for an Al Gore Buzzword Bingo. In 1998 the game was even featured in a cover story in the Wall Street Journal .

In the period that followed, the game spread under the name Bullshit Bingo on the Internet , especially through websites and chain emails . IBM used Buzzword Bingo in 2007 for a TV advertising campaign.

See also

  • Bullshit Generator - A mechanism or program for generating empty phrases from keywords.
  • Buzzword compliance - The property of a text to contain a particularly large number of general places, phrases and keywords.


Web links

Commons : Buzzword bingo  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Chris Pirazzi: Tom Davis's Buzzword Bingo. In: Retrieved September 8, 2015 .
  2. Scott Adams : Dilbert Comic. February 22, 1994
  3. a b Buzzword Bingo. In: Word Spy Press, November 12, 2002, accessed February 10, 2009 .
  4. a b Paul McFedries: The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Smart Vocabulary. Alpha Books, 2001, ISBN 0-02-863997-9 , p. 136 ( online ).
  5. ^ Scott Adams : Dilbert 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2008, ISBN 978-0-7407-7735-6 , p. 203 ( online ).
  6. ^ Al Gore Buzzword Bingo. In: IHTFP Hack Gallery, July 6, 1996, accessed February 11, 2009 .
  7. ^ TF Peterson, Eric Bender: Nightwork: A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT. MIT Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0-262-29501-7 , pp. 126-127 ( online ).
  8. Alexander Kirchner: Bullshit Bingo in the executive suite. Buzzwords and the loss of credibility. ( Memento from January 25, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Lecture at the 3rd Salzburg Rhetoric Talks in April 2006, RhetOn, Online Journal for Rhetoric & Knowledge Transfer 1/2006
  9. ^ IBM: Buzzword Bingo. In: September 28, 2007, accessed February 11, 2009 .
  10. Bullshit Bingo. In: The Lipstick Chronicles, November 9, 2007, accessed February 10, 2009 .