What Is Another Name For Ping Pong

What Is Another Name For Ping Pong

Last modified: October 15, 2023

Introduction: Are you a ping pong enthusiast trying to understand more about the sport, or are you just a curious mind wanting to expand your knowledge? Whichever category you fall into, you’ll be interested to know that ping pong is known by different names in various parts of the world. This fun and engaging sport’s terminology isn’t as simple as it might initially seem, so sit tight and prepare for a journey exploring the various names for ping pong and their origins.

The Name ‘Ping Pong’

Many people know the game we’re talking about as ping pong, a name that’s as fun to say as the game is to play. But have you ever wondered where the name originated from?

Origin of ‘Ping Pong’

The name ‘Ping Pong’ was first coined as a trade name in England during the late 1800s and is meant to mimic the sound the ball makes when it hits the table and the paddle during play.

Ping Pong in Pop Culture

Over time, this term became popular globally and was cemented in pop culture through movies, television shows, and music references. It transcends language barriers, making it universally recognisable.

The Use of ‘Ping Pong’ Today

Today, the term ‘ping pong’ is so widely used that many folks aren’t even aware it has another, more formal name. In many casual, non-competition settings, this is the go-to term.

Table Tennis: The Official Name

Despite the wide usage of the term ‘ping pong’, the official name of the sport, as recognised by the international sports community, is table tennis.

Table Tennis as a Recognised Sport

Table tennis is the name used by the International Olympic Committee and other official sports bodies around the globe. It became an Olympic event in 1988, and the term ‘table tennis’ reflects the sport’s validation on a professional level.

Why ‘Table Tennis’?

The term emphasizes the fact that ping pong is indeed a form of tennis, albeit one that’s played on a table instead of a court. It effectively communicates the skill and athleticism needed to excel in this sport.

The Spread of ‘Table Tennis’

As the sport matured and became more structured, with official rules and professional players, the term ‘table tennis’ became more widely used, especially in professional and competition settings.

Other Common Terms

In addition to ping pong and table tennis, there are a handful of other terms used to describe the game, varying primarily based on region and culture.

‘Whiff Whaff’

Believe it or not, another term used, particularly in Victorian England, was ‘whiff whaff’. It’s another onomatopoeic term, like ‘ping pong’, that tries to capture the sound of the game.

Names in Different Languages

Different languages have unique names for table tennis, often reflecting similar sound-imitating qualities. For example, in French, it can be called ‘pim-pam’.

Regional Slang Terms

In different parts of the world, colloquial and slang terms for ping pong might also exist, often derived from local language, culture, and customs.


What’s In a Name? The sport known to many as ping pong, or table tennis, goes by many names worldwide. Regardless of what you call it, though, the game remains consistent – a fun, engaging, and sometimes intense sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. So whether you refer to it as ‘ping pong’, ‘table tennis’, or even ‘whiff whaff’, remember to enjoy every serve, every volley, and every point you win!

Additional Ping-Pong Resources:
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