The game is played by several cultures across the globe, so its exact origins are hard to pinpoint.
It is commonly believed to originate from 19th century England, possibly coming from the Cornish tradition of the Nickanan Night also known as Rougery Night; an event when youths had an excuse to perform minor acts of vandalism as well as playing tricks and pranks on their neighbors.
The prank is known by several names across the globe, with “ding dong ditch” emerging in the 1980’s, imitating and alliterating with the sound of a doorbell.
The game would be played by children in countless towns and cities all across the world, getting portrayed in movies, cartoons and animations as well.
“Ding dong ditch” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2002.
In the 2010’s, UPS deliverymen were often joked about being the champions of “ding dong ditch”.
- The Wallstreet Journal – The Perfect Prank for These Times: Ding-Dong Ditch Is Back
- People – Parents of Calif. Boys Killed After Ding-Dong Ditch Prank Forgive Suspect: ‘It’s What We Believe’
- Wikipedia – Knock, Knock, Ginger