Printable Version
Pronunciation: binj-wêr-dhee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Worthy of bingeing on, good enough to indulge in repeatedly over a relatively short period of time, especially a TV series.

Notes: Here is a word that has become popular during the 2020 pandemic when people isolated themselves at home. One of our favorite pastimes during this period was watching TV all day long. The noun is bingeworthiness and the adverb, bingeworthily.

In Play: The most often used sense of this word on the Internet today (2021) is to describe watching TV series: "During the pandemic, I watched a bingeworthy French television series about an epidemic in France." However, the applications of this word roams far beyond the activity of watching TV: "Sedona Couch binges on every kind of chocolate chip cookie she can find, bingeworthy or not."

Word History: We might think that cringeworthy was copied after bingeworthy, but that is not the case. Actually, cringeworthy, as in 'cringeworthy horror movie', anteceded bingeworthy. It first appeared in print in 1972, while the earliest bingeworthy only appeared in 2006. No one knows where binge came from, only that the current meaning derived from an old dialectal use referring to soaking oaken barrels to make their slats swell to make them watertight. Worth, the noun underlying worthy, seems to have descended from PIE wer-t- "to turn (into), twist, wind", source also of German Wert "value" and werden "to become, turn into", Lithuanian vertas "worth(y)", and English weird ("twisted"). The semantic trail here is a bit twisted itself, but this is what the phonetics tells us.

Dr. Goodword,

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