Why Would Someone Willingly Call Themselves a DINK?

Why Would Someone Willingly Call Themselves a DINK?

When acronyms go so very wrong.

Image for postPhoto of a man and woman sitting in a restaurant, smiling, possibly because they?re DINKs because there are no children in sight. Photo by Artur Tumasjan on Unsplash

I was conversing with a coworker one day and he kept talking about himself as a DINK (he?d say Dee-Eye-Enn-Kay, but I?d think ?DINK? every time).

Although I agree that he is, in fact, a dink, I didn?t think that?s what he was talking about.

So, after the fourth time he said DINK, I asked what he meant.

?D.I.N.K.! Double income, no kids!? he replied, implying that I was the stupid one for never having heard that terrible acronym before.

I quickly disengaged my coworker (he?s such a dink), but it left me wondering if I wasn?t aware of DINK because I?m single and not in that demographic.

I mentioned it to several other people of various ages and marital statuses, none of whom had heard the term/acronym, either. They then questioned why I?d listened to him since it?s well known that he is a dink. But he?s also not that kind of creative, so I didn?t think he?d coined the term himself.

I was curious. Was DINK a common term in modern vernacular that I?d somehow missed? I?m a big word nerd and I try to notice when new terms come into common use, even if it?s not something I?d use.

?D.I.N.K.! Double income, no kids!? he replied, implying that I was the stupid one for never having heard that terrible acronym before.

Why DINKs?

Since my usual network of people didn?t know about it, I took to the internet to try to figure out how I?d missed this phenomenon.

The Google preview for Wiki had this under the slang subheading:

Image for postScreencap of Google preview for Dink on Wikipedia: ?Slang. DINK (acronym) or ?Dual Income, No Kids?, a couple living together with no kids. A term for the penis. Military slang for a recruit in training, ?Desperately In Need of Knowledge.? Dink ? Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dink

So obviously it wasn?t something the annoying coworker made up. But I?d only heard the penis slang and when it was used as a juvenile insult.

But I do like the military slang. I think I might have to write a military story so I can use that version of the term.

Now I was curious: what else did the Google machine have to say about DINKs? And ? more importantly in my mind ? why would anyone willingly call themselves DINKs? It didn?t seem like a very nice term to call oneself.

But, obviously I was wrong. At least one website, the Investopedia link below, had a post all about self-identifying as DINKs. The post is even titled ?We?re DINKs And Damn Proud Of It? to emphasize this (although the point of the post is more about choosing not to have children, but that?s beside the point of my post).

Dual Income, No Kids (DINK)

“Dual income, no kids” (DINK) is a slang phrase for a household in which there are two incomes and no children (either?


This quote from the above Investopedia link interests my inner marketer: ?DINKs are often the target of marketing efforts for luxury items such as expensive cars and vacations.?

I?m trying to imagine a bunch of marketing executives talking about selling DINKs nice cars and vacations to Fiji, which I?ll admit also makes my inner 14-year-old boy snicker. (I?ve never claimed to be mature.)

Two other new-to-me terms I learned from the Investopedia article: KIPPERS (Kids In Parents? Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings) and DEWKS (Dually Employed With Kids). Who are the people making this stuff up? I want to teach them a thing or two about creating nicknames and acronyms that stick. But, I digress.

What Else Does The Google Machine Say About DINKs?

On to the next search result that caught my eye.

I can definitely appreciate the headline (How To Rock The Dink Life) and I especially appreciate the photo to go with it. It?s one of those stick figure family sticker sets you find. This one has a man, a woman, and a pile of money bags and money. That?s a great visual representation. I wish it was available on Unsplash so I could use it here. But stealing is wrong. So click on the link if you can?t see it below.

How To Rock The Dink Life (Dual Income, No Kids) – Whippio

Wondering if the dink life (dual income no kids) is for you? If you are considering whether you would benefit from this?


I have to say this quote from the above Whippio article made me laugh, again, because I am a 14-year-old boy: ?The decision to be a DINK has opened up opportunities for us as well as some things to be careful with.? Taken out of context, I snorted.

And then this quote: ?If you want to be invited to the successful DINK kingdom than (sic) you have an obligation.?

There are other funny examples in the above article but I don?t want to pick on them too much, especially since they?re giving sound financial advice about savings and retirement. I just want to point out the ridiculousness of the term. Seriously, how can people willingly call themselves DINKs? It?s not something I could ever say with a straight face.

What Is The Origin of DINK?

I still wasn?t sure how or when this term came into common usage. So I searched for ?DINK origin? and this came up:

Image for postScreencap of Google search result: ?dink /dinNGk/ Origin ENGLISH double income, no kids ?dink 1980s. 1980s: acronym from double income, no kids?

Thanks, Google. But who coined it?

Image for postScreencap from Google: ??DINK? is an acronym that stands for ?double income, no kids?. It describes a childless or childfree couple where both partners receive an income. The term was coined in the 1980s at the height of yuppie culture. DINK (acronym) ? Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DINK_(acronym)?

That makes sense. Yuppies were all about horrendous fashion so it makes sense they?d coin a horrendous acronym, as well. Thanks, Google and Wiki! That, somehow, made me feel better.

I also found a not-quite-as-horrendous term for myself: SINK (Single-Income-No-Kids Female).

Are you a SINK? The Manifesto for The-Single-Income-No-Kids Female

Even while still in my early twenties, I’ve felt my comrades — fellow Internet consumers — dipping into the tail end?


I was scanning the above HuffPo article and found this interesting quote: ?In another subset of our labeling, there?s the DINK (double income no kids), a term that gained notable hold in the media after TIME Magazine?s ?Having It All Without Having Children.??

Of note, that TIME magazine article is from August 12, 2013, long after the 1980s where Google seems to think it originates. I?m ok with blaming yuppies and TIME for this bad acronym. I?m guessing neither checked with 14-year-old boys to see if the term was plain goofy.

And Then I Found This

I found this horrendous trailer for a movie (I think?) about D.I.N.K.s (watch at your own risk. It?s so bad!):

Video embed for a trailer for ?D.I.N.K.s Double Income No Kids.? It?s really bad. Can?t say I didn?t warn you.

I can?t leave you on that note. Nobody deserves that.

So What Does Urban Dictionary Have To Say?

Now that I was done my ?investigative? part, I scrolled further down and found my favorite go-to source for things I don?t understand, UrbanDictionary.com. I honestly expected the definitions to be more vulgar. But here are a couple of my favorites.

The top definition is along the lines with what I?m familiar, although I?m not in New England:

Image for postScreencap of definition from UrbanDictionary.com: ?TOP DEFINITION: dink; a New England term referring to someone being an ass-hole (sic) or an idiot. Guy 1, ?What is photosynthesis?? Guy 2, ?Don?t be such a dink, its how plants make energy.? #dink #maine #newengland #asshole #idiot by The Dirty Mainah February 26, 2013.? (There?s also an hilarious ad at the bottom: ?Get a dink mug for your barber Nathalie.? Pretty sure I don?t have a barber, nor would she want this on a mug, but thanks anyway!)

And then there?s the ode to Engelbert Humperdinck:

Image for postScreencap of definition from UrbanDictionary.com: ?Dink: Dink, The: Slang for Engelbert Humperdinck; One of the greatest rock and roll stars of the 21st century. by Andreas Kock March 31, 2005.? (including an ad: ?Get a Dink mug for your cousin Manafort.? I can only imagine how my imaginary cousin Manafort would react to getting such a wondrous gift from me.)

I always appreciate a shout-out to Engelbert Humperdinck, who?s still performing at 83 years old. Bless!

Here?s some of the original Dink for your listening pleasure:

Video embed from YouTube of Engelbert Humperdinck?s Les Bicyclettes de Belsize.

I?m curious: would you willingly call yourself a DINK, KIPPERS, DEWK, or SINK? None of them seem like a term a person would willingly call themselves, but I?ve obviously been proven wrong as the links above and my dink of a coworker prove.

But maybe these terms should stay in marketing boardrooms and leave us to our spending habits and creating our own less-horrendous acronyms.

I?ve taken other funny trips down the Google rabbit hole. You can read about them here:

Everything I Thought I Knew About How Men Pee Is a Lie

Not that I was an expert before.


My Anaconda Don?t

My introduction to the term anaconda.


Want to read more Google weirdness? Join my mailing list! I?ll keep you up-to-date on all my writing.


No Responses

Write a response