Table Tennis Lingo: What Is Wiff Waff?

By | 2014-10-17T16:13:37+00:00 December 12th, 2012|Lingo|Comments Off on Table Tennis Lingo: What Is Wiff Waff?

Wiff Waff is one of the earliest expressions used to describe the game that is now known as “table tennis” or “ping pong”. The game originated as an after-dinner sport in England during the 1880 where it was played among the upper-class in parlors. The net was typically created using a row of books stood up in the center of a table. Back in Victorian Britain, there were no Uberpong ping pong paddles! Players had to improvise by using two books as rackets and they would hit a golf ball back and forth whilst galavanting around without a care in the world! Other high tech equipment used included cigar box lids as paddles and champagne corks as balls (now, with Uberpong, we like to shake things up and break the rules, but do you really think a champagne cork is going to give a consistent bounce?!!).

So what is wiff waff (or whiff whaff as it is occasionally spelled) and where did the expression come from? Well, the early paddles were often pieces of parchment stretched over a frame. And what did the players hear? A “wiff-waff” sound as the ball was hit back and forth.

Vintage wiff waff set

Wiff waff vintage table tennis

Uberpong “Wiff Waff” Paddle

Uberpong designer ping pong paddles

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