“To Bing, Or Not To Bing?” Will Microsoft’s Search Engine Ever Become A Verb?

The word ‘Google’ has been widely embraced by the English speaking world as a de facto verb for internet searches. When you want to find something out online, you don’t search for it; you “google” it. But what about Microsoft’s rival search engine Bing? Over the past few days, I’ve been asking friends, family and co-workers to ‘Bing’ search queries for me. Here’s a transcription of some of their reactions…

The following conversations took place at home, at work and over the phone between the 20th of April and the 2nd of May:

Jillian (AKA the wife)

Me: Are you online at the moment?

Jillian: Yeah, do you need the computer? I’m just finishing this research [for my] uni assignment.

Me: Can you Bing the capital of Romania for me?

Jillian: …Can I what?

Me: I said can you Bing the capital of Romania for me?

Jillian: What is bing?


James (AKA the friend)

Me: …also, did you want to see Iron Man 3 this week?

James: Maybe, what day were you thinking?

Me: Not sure. Did you want to Bing the session times for us?

James: …Did you just say “Bing the session times”?

Me: Yeah. Y’know, like, find ’em out online.

James: Yeah I get it, but why say Bing? That’s retarded.


Danny (AKA the boss)

Danny: Hey Chris, do you have a contact number for [redacted]?”

Me: No. Would you like me to Bing it for you?

Danny: [Slight facial spasm] Um, no, that’s okay.


Serge (AKA the dad)

Serge: [reading from a newspaper knowledge test] What colour is Queensland’s floral emblem?

Me: I think it’s red. Did you want me to Bing it on my phone?

Serge: What’s a bing?


And there you have it. According to this small-scale and rather silly experiment, Bing has a long way to go before it enters the English vernacular. Was Bing too late to the party? Does it not possess a large enough user-base? Or is it simply lacking the required pizzazz to pull off the noun-to-verb transformation? Perhaps somebody should Wolfram Alpha this conundrum to see if there are any answers…

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