Ever since we brought Pacif-i to market we have been dealing with the different terms of baby pacifiers around the world. From the U.S., where pacifier is common, through to the UK, where it is often called a dummy. So we thought we would do a little piece of fun research into the different names around the world for what is referred to in the U.S. as a "pacifier" and see what came.
The first thing we noticed is that there are the common names in large parts of the population but there are also many hundreds of pet names for pacifiers used by families everywhere. Sometimes these are made up by parents as a playful label and sometimes even by children with the way they pronounced words. A "winky-dink" anyone?
Now this study is confined to English, clearly other countries that do not speak English have different terms for pacifiers, and we do not look at these. We often referred to good old Wikipedia as a source for some of this material on pacifiers, for which we are indebted.
Check out the following infographic for the results and analysis of the project. In summary, by far the most commonly used term is pacifier and this is the most widely understood. The term dummy is the second most used term and has its origin in England. It is so widely used by virtue of the British Commonwealth where in the early 20th century many of the colonies were importing goods and terminology from the UK. This is why the term dummy is so common in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
One interesting result of the research is that many of the names used to refer to pacifiers were originally brands or trademarks for particular devices. One of the more commonly used terms binky is still a trademark used in the U.S. today. Even the term pacifier may have started off as a brand in the U.S. since its early reference was in a letter published in the New York Times where the writer was complaining about devices sold "as pacifiers".
We hope you enjoyed this little piece of research and feel free to re-post or refer to it if you would like.