Where does pingers come from?
Ecstasy pills have been called pingers in Australia since the early 2000s. Two books published in 2003 on surfing in Australia define pingers in their glossaries.
By 2012, an Australian guide for general medical professionals listed pingers among the street names for ecstasy, or MDMA, an illegal drug taken for its euphoric high and associated with rave parties. Around that same time, the term was spreading beyond Australia. Vice for example, picked up on its use in the UK in 2012.
The term pinger may be based on a pinging sensation users say they feel while on the drug or to describe a persons’s bouncy, jumpy behavior when high.
Examples of pingers
Who uses pingers?
Use of the term pingers is still commonly associated with Australia and New Zealand, although it is sometimes seen or read in the UK and Ireland.
Among Australians (and others), pingers is usually pronounced more like pingas.
Pingers is most often used in the club, electronic dance music, and rave scenes as well as discussions about those cultures. Public-health resources may also warn people of the dangers, not to mention illegality, of using pingers, which has been connected to heart failure.
Someone high on pingers may be described as pinging.
Pingers should not be confused with Pinger, a free text messaging app.
This is not meant to be a formal definition of pingers like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of pingers that will help our users expand their word mastery.