OK, folks, we need to talk about ‘cornhole.’

Specifically, I’m talking about the game where one throws enlarged hacky-sacks at a hole cut in a flat piece of wood.

It’s a fun game that can be played with seriousness, if that's your thing, or completely for fun by people of all skill levels. That is why ‘beanbag toss’ is such a popular game to play. It’s perfect for cookouts, bars, or any event.

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However, there is one thing about this game that has been caught in my craw for quite a while, when did it start being called ‘cornhole,’ and do people not know where that word comes from?!?

I’m not trying to yuck anyone’s yum. It’s a fun game. It’s just that one-day ‘cornhole’ had a very specific meaning, then the next day it was used in reference to something you do at family gatherings.

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One of the first times I heard ‘cornhole’ used in popular culture on Bevis and Butthead back in the 90s.

They used it the way I’d always heard it used in conversation, as a reference to….um…an…a...activity. An intimate activity. Or at least an intimate part of the human body.

Bean Bag Toss or Cornhole?

This is why whenever I hear grown-ups call beanbag toss ‘Cornhole’ I lose it. I always miss whatever they say next because to my ear they are talking about that...ahhh…activity.

So, rather than just laughing at people minding their own business and playing a game, I did a little internet research to find out how this slag term for that…activity became something that is done at community fundraisers.

I mean, there is  American Cornhole Organization! How can they not be in on the joke? It’s like the B-plot on Two and a Half Men.

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Grandpa Wants to Know When the Cornhole Will Start

The particular game has been played for over a century. In one of the first recorded references, it was called "Parlor Quoits" because it was 1883 and everything sounded way fancier than it was.

In the early 70s, a magazine called it "bean-bag bull's-eye." The most common name I heard when I was a kid in the 80s was ‘bags.” A perfect name with no, let's say, connotations.

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Do People Not Know What 'Cornhole' Means?

At first, I was a little worried that maybe I had made up this entire history of the word ‘cornhole.’

On my first search, Google served me page after page of shopping links to bean-bag toss equipment, rules, championship brackets, and links to local organizations where one can join a group of cornhole aficionados.

I tried again, searching “cornhole slang” and I was rewarded with the truth. So, here is what the good folks at Wikipedia say what ‘cornhole’ means.

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BE WARNED, THE FOLLOWING EXPLANATION IS FOR ADULTS ONLY.

Little Billy, avert your eyes!

Cornhole (sometimes corn hole) is a sexual slang vulgarism for the anus. The term came into use in the 1910s in the United States. Its verb form, to cornhole, which came into use in the 1930s, means 'to have a**l s*x'.

The term is apparently derived "from the practice in the days of the outhouse of using dried corn cobs for toilet paper."

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Vindication! I’m not crazy!

Just like when I spent years thinking I’d made up the Pizza Hut Priazzo Pizza until I found the commercial that had been lodged in my brain for three decades.

READ: I Didn’t Imagine It! The Pizza Hut Priazzo Pizza Was a Real Thing

‘Cornhole’ has been used like this since at least the 1910s, as a reference to...that activity I was talking about. It comes from using corn cobs in outhouses. You know, instead of paper to clean your backside.

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Why is Bean Bag Toss Called Cornhole?

I guess I can see how the whole, hole, aspect of both activities could lead to the adoption of the name for the game.
I kept searching and all I could find was that there is a lot, and I mean A LOT of discussion about the origins of the game. Some histories claim that it goes back hundreds of years.

Some name various people as originators of the game. But nothing about why it became so associated with…that activity.

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I did find someone claiming that the first published instance of calling the game ‘cornhole,’ came in 1985 in an Ohio newspaper.

The closest explanation that I could find was someone saying that the game first gained popularity in the Midwest, and since that’s where the corn is, that’s how it got the name.

Um, OK.

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When Did 'Bag' Become 'Cornhole?'

But, there had to have been a period of adjustment when players and organizers had to explain to people that no, we’re not going to do ‘that’ after grilling and before the fireworks. We’re going to play bags.

This looks like a mystery that will never be solved. So I will just enjoy my head-cannon where I imagine that some smart-aleck Midwesterners were drinking and playing the game, when one of them said, “Hey dude! We should call this game ‘cornhole!’” And they all laughed like they were 13 again. Then as they kept calling the game that and some unsuspecting person picked it up, and the rest is history.
But, is everyone in on the joke? That’s the real mystery.

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I’m Gen X, so 90% of what I say is said sarcastically or dipped in irony. So maybe, just maybe, that’s what everyone else is doing.

I just wish I was there to see the reaction the first time that word was used in a church newsletter.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ben Kuhns is just some guy on the internet. He is a wannabe writer, and his wife thinks he's funny. He writes for Results-Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

7 Real Reasons to Not Move to Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a boomtown. I think we can safely say that. The metro area is nearly a quarter of a million people strong. The future of the Sioux Empire looks to be more of the same. It makes sense, Sioux Falls is a wonderful place to live.

Not too big, not too small. If it was a bear, it would be the baby because it's just right. We have an urban feel to our Western lifestyle.

Those of us who have been in Sioux Falls for decades are used to welcoming the regular flow of new neighbors that our city attracts.

More people means more ideas and more opportunities for Sioux Falls and its citizens.

A while ago I listed some reasons for people to NOT move to Sioux Falls. It was a humorous, ironic celebration of our town.

But the jokes and seeing lots of people asking online about living in the Queen City got me thinking, what are some real reasons for someone to not move to Sioux Falls?

Possible Nuclear Missile Attack Targets in and Close To South Dakota

There are about 12,500 nuclear warheads in the world today. Most of them belong to the United States and Russia. Since their invention, the two nations have picked targets in each other's countries.

Part of the joy of living in the middle of the content in places like North and South Dakota, Nebraska, or Wyoming is the wide-open spaces. Lots of nothing. All that wide open space is also a perfect place to keep a bunch of nuclear missiles.

America's nuclear deterrent lives in many places; the air, under the oceans in submarines, and in thousands of nuclear-tipped missiles buried under the plaines of the midwest. Plus there are some pretty important Air Force bases in the area.

The collection of bases and all those missile silos, unfortunately, makes this part of the world a big, fat, target.

So what would happen if the worst comes to worst? Which cities in our part of the world would most likely be nuclear bomb targets?

Gallery Credit: Ben Davis

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