It’s common to hear someone say “ping me when you’re free.” Have you wondered what “ping” means and where it originates from?
To send a quick, short message over a texting platform (SMS, Instant Messenger, Chat) used to check in, keep someone in the loop about something, or ask about something, with the expectation of a quick, short response from the receiving party.
Let’s look more into the origin, use in daily conversation, examples and translations of this modern day slang.
Where does PING come from?
PING was not originally a word, but an acronym or abbreviation. PING, written in all caps, stands for Packet Internet or Inter-Network Groper. As an IT or tech industry specific jargon, “ping” is a technical term that means to check on the status of another computer or another server to see if it’s online (a sort of acknowledgment). It’s an electronic message that loosely translates to, “Are you there?”
According to Your Dictionary, “The ping command is particularly helpful in verifying whether a host is working and whether a system is attached to the Internet.”
Examples of Pings (send through text messages):
Wife to husband, “Pick up some milk on the way home.”
Child to parent, “I’m all done. Can you come pick me up?”
Business partner to business partner, “Is it ready? We are down to the wire.”
Colleague to colleague, “Wanna meet for lunch today at 12?”
Husband to wife, “I’m on my way.”
Friend to friend, “How did it go?”
Of course here, I have given examples of pings in complete sentences, but most of the time people may use texting language, abbreviations, or slang in ping messages to make them even shorter. Also, since the messages are so short, much of the context will only be known between the two parties.
Translations of Questions Using “Ping”
Using PING: “Can I ping you at 8?”
Ordinary English: “Can I send you a text message or make a quick call to see if you are free at 8?”
Translations of Statements Using “Ping”
How do I Ping Someone?
Pinging is done through a quick communication, usually by electronic means, but sometimes over the phone. It depends on the other person’s preference. So pings can be done over:
How do I know which one to use?
If you don’t know the person well, say it’s your client or colleague onsite, it’s better to ask, “How do you prefer me to ping you?” Don’t assume because for instance, text messaging in the US is charged in most cases regardless of sending or receiving, but maybe receiving the message on WhatsApp or another mobile app or email may be free for that person (as long as they have a data plan).
What is Said in a Ping?
Ping messages are short. Any of the below suffice:
Are There Synonyms for Ping?
Of course. The exact synonym depends on the person and their preferred ping method sometimes.
“Ping me at 4.” synonyms: