Ding

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German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old High German ding, from Proto-Germanic *þingą. Compare Low German ding, Dutch ding, English thing, Danish ting.

Noun[edit]

Ding n (genitive Dings or Dinges, plural Dinge or Dinger)

  1. thing
  2. (old-fashioned): Thing

Usage notes[edit]

The plural Dinge means things (in general): Werte sind wichtiger als Dinge. – "Values are more important than things." It also means different kinds of things: Nahrung, Kleidung und Wohnung sind Dinge, die jeder braucht. – "Food, clothes and a home are things that everyone needs."

The plural Dinger means several items of one sort of thing: Was sind das hier für kleine rote Dinger? – "What are these little red things?" In formal usage other words such as Gegenstände ("objects") are preferred in contexts like this and therefore Dinger is rare in formal language.

The plural Dinger is also used where the word means "girl" (or less often "boy"): Seine Töchter sind zwei nette junge Dinger. – "His daughters are two nice young things." (This usage is probably somewhat less disrespectful in German than it might be in English, but still not recommendable.)

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]