Why Are Binoculars Called Bins? [Answered]

By Richard

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Binoculars were invented back in the 18s century and different names have been used. These optical instruments have undergone an evolution period where many modern technologies have been added to them. Different names depending on regional language have been used. But the most interesting name that people have given them is “Bins”. Why are binoculars called bins: Have you ever thought? In this blog post, we will talk all about the names of binoculars. Here is a brief answer

Why are binoculars called bins: In the past, pronunciation was a major issue for some people due to many reasons. The word “Binoculars” is a bit tough to say and people felt ashamed due to pronouncing it wrongly. So, instead of saying Binoculars, they just used to say Bins. However, binoculars itself in Latin originated word and it means “two by two’’.

It was a brief answer but let’s not get satisfied by a small introduction and dive deeper to get all the information about binoculars’ names.

Also Read: Can Binoculars See Through Clouds?

History of Name “Binoculars”

Binoculars were invented back in the early 18s and scientists were not certain about their name. At that time, telescopes were already on the market and people were familiar with them. People were able to see through telescopes with only one eye. So, the scientist Sir David Brewster calls the newly invented device the binocular microscope meaning “two-eyed microscope”.

Fact: They were called two-eyed due to two barrels and objective lenses.

With time, a microscope name got associated with only those devices that were used to see very small objects of a few mm size. So, only the name “Binoculars was left, which is used till now.

Some people who had issues with pronunciation stopped using binoculars. Instead, they introduced the new word “Bins”. This name has been used for many years and has a history. Some people still use binoculars as bins but don’t know the meanings and history of bins.

Origin of The Word “Bins”

Binocular is a Latin word derived from bino and oculus. Bino and oculus mean two by two or in another way “two-eyed”. Over time, the name saw its evolution and people belonging to different regions and languages call them binoculars. 

As far as the word “Bins” is concerned, it is the shorter form of binoculars. Back in the 19s, those people who had pronunciation used to call binoculars Bins just to convey a clear message. It got famous and people all around the world started using Bins for binoculars. 

What Is The Meaning of Bins In Cockney Rhyming?

Bins in cockney rhyming indicate glassy material or something which is made of glass. In other words, bins are used as a representative of glasses, binoculars, and Spectacles. It is a very close relationship with cockney rhyming.

The term “Bins” is derived from the cockney language and is taken from the exact phrase ‘bins and out’. The bins and out means telling someone to go and leave you alone. When you see bins and out, it actually it’s time to go.

In cockney rhyming slang, the bins rhyme with eyes. Somehow binoculars are also associated with eyes as you get a closer image to the target image and see with your eyes. So, bins due to rhymes with eyes is the name for binoculars. This word was more common in 18s century and the older generation used to love it. 

Are Binoculars Still Called Bins?

To be honest, No! Binoculars are not called bins now as people have got more modernized and feel it is bad to call bins as it has no meaning in vocabulary. Instead, they use the word Binoculars which is more decent and has some sound historical background as well. 

What Are Some Other Terms/Names For Binoculars?

With time, people gave different names to binoculars. Especially those who have a passion for optics give a special name to binoculars. Some of those names are as follows;

  • Binos
  • Binocs
  • Field glasses
  • Double opera glasses

Field glasses and double opera glasses were the names that were usually used by hunters. As they used to take binoculars in the field of hunting so they named their field glasses. However, Binoculars is the most famous and worldwide acceptable name and has become standard now.


Bins has some historical background and it is quite surprising to note that this word traveled from generation to generation and has reached to us. Most of the people who love binoculars don’t even know why binoculars are called bins.

We have written this in-depth guide just to boost your knowledge about binoculars. No matter what you call them bins, binos, binocs, or binoculars, they are indeed, the best tool for seeing objects that are very far away from you. Hopefully, our typing fingers will add value to your life.

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