With the development and proliferation of the game ” BINGO “, many people have looked for the origin of the word, without finding documents that authoritatively support its source or beginning.
“BEANO” is definitely still practiced today in some USA States, as in the State of Maine, and its basis is similar to our generalized BINGO. The Law of the State defines these interchangeable terms in Chapter 13-A, Section 17:
” TITLE 17: CRIMES
- CHAPTER 13-A: BEANO OR BINGO
- 311. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following words shall have the following meanings. [1975, c. 307, §2 (new).] 1. Beano. “Beano” means a specific kind of group game of chance, regardless of whether such a game is characterized by another name. Wherever the term “beano” is used, the word “bingo” or any other word used to characterize such a game may be interchanged. In “beano,” each participant is given or sold one or more tally cards, so-called, each of which contains preprinted numbers or letters and may or may not be arranged in vertical or which contains preprinted numbers or letters and may or may not be arranged in vertical or horizontal rows. The participant covers or marks the numbers or letters as objects similarly numbered or lettered are drawn from a receptacle and the winner or winners are determined by the sequence in which those objects are drawn. The manner in which the winner is determined must be clearly announced or displayed before any game is begun. Until July 1, 1994, a game described in this subsection is “beano” and a licensee may conduct such a game regardless of whether the manner of determining the winner is specifically described as a permissible manner of determining the winner in rules adopted by the Chief of State Police.
[1991, c. 796, §2 (amd).] ”
“Beano” is still played in many U.S. states, as evidenced by the photo of a Beano game package. [Photo downloaded from the photographic gallery of Old Jacksonville, Ga. by Julian Williams (Ga. USA)].
Read about the history of gambling in the USA, early lottery and casinos in New York and mafia controlled gaming at Plicy Game site.
The object of the game was for the player to place on the cards, marked with letters and numbers, a bean, signifying the called letter and number( which was called out by the person running the game). A bean would be placed on the square when its letter and number was called, e.g., “B-6”, “O-63”, etc. When a player fills in all the spaces of a row – across (horizontally), up-and-down (vertically), or corner-to-corner (diagonally), he or she is entitled to shout “Beano!”, signifying that the game has been won. In the game of “Bingo”, the same procedure applies.
How it appears with the name “Beano” is the first question. The etymology of the word is coarsely interpreted by some responsible authors, one of them in the ” The American Heritage ” (dictionary of English language) – 4ª Edition of 2,000, that justifies it as being formed for (bean)+bing(o), when we know that the word ” bingo ” appears later than ” beano ” and certainly is a derivative of the latter.
We found three chains of opinion on the word:
1 – In the United States, numbers are in common usage for identifying people, places, and things. For example, a person might be identified by his Social Security Number, his Driver’s License Number, or his Credit Card Number. A place, say a city, might be identified by a five-digit Zip Code Number. A thing might be identified by a Stock Number or a Serial Number. In the military you would also have an identification number. So, everything has a number. So, the saying goes, “He has your number!” Naturally, then, because of the universal use of numbers in the American society, it was quite reasonable that numbers (and letters) would be used in a game such as “Beano” or “Bingo.”
2 – ” Beano ” could be a semi-French word, seeing that the game also is gambled in Canada and the interchange of the northern states of the USA and southern Canada was very normal. In France already ” lotto ” has centuries of existence and the similar game was also marked with beans. Then, it would be perfectly acceptable that the terminology of the word took the French sound and the (o) final is of ” lott(o)” and not of ” bing(o)” as the American Heritage says.
3 – The word could have occurred anonymously – based equally in ” bean ” or ” beans “. In a new country … new words! Examples of freedom of words are innumerable and the appearance of new words was provoked for the mix of many languages and dialects of the new American people.
We accept this last version as the most probable. Whatever its origin, the truth is that ” Beano ” is the predecessor of the ” current Bingo “, as played by social and public entities. The game was played at parties and especially at country fairs, with a pronounced presence in Georgia. It was in Jacksonville, Georgia, in 1929, that Bingo was discovered by Edwin S. Lowe, a traveling toy salesman. It is said he had relatives in Jacksonville (Lowes still live there) and that he attended a country fair where “Beano” was being played. The people, he noticed, were keenly and enthusiastically involved in the game and even though he was there until about 3 o’clock in the morning, he never got a seat because everybody kept playing. Edwin S. Lowe, returning to New York, made up some cards and soon New York society was enjoying the new game. So excited was one lady that instead of calling “Beano”, she shouted “Bingo!” Lowe was ecstatic and liked the sound of the word. Thus, he named his game “Bingo” and the game was established throughout the world.
We don’t know if Mr. Lowe earned much money with the game, but the fast adoption of the game by some parishioners who needed funds for their parishes was surely successful, as evidenced by the continued use and success of the game today by churches seeking funds through a practical Ingatbola88 game of chance.
The word ” Beano ” did not disappear and is today in the vocabulary of many countries of the world. Name of people: Steve Beano of the Sherry’s Casino; places: Beano Hills in Virginia; gambling houses: Beano’s Casino in Las Vegas; some establishments: Beano Coffee in the Cairo; enzyme name of the gastric system; English comics periodical of great acceptance established per years 30; bikes; packed food; football teams; baseball team; toys mark; game-on-line in the web; name of a awarded dog; medicines; it means ” party ” in the Norway; some shops in Japan…
Bingo is not behind… but this is already actuality.