1900, as Ping-Pong, trademark for table tennis equipment (Parker Brothers). Both words are imitative of the sound of the ball hitting a hard surface; from ping + pong (attested from 1823). It had a "phenomenal vogue" in U.S. c. 1900-1905.
1901, "to play table tennis," from ping-pong (n.). In the figurative sense of "move or send back and forth without progress, resolution, or purpose" from 1952. Related: Ping-ponged; ping-ponging.