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US origin, perhaps a blend of hummer (“something that moves fast”) + dinger (“something outstanding”). First attested in a newspaper article in the Daily Enterprise of June 4, 1883, at Livingston, Montana.
humdinger (plural humdingers)
- (informal) Something that is particularly outstanding, unusual, or exceptional.
- Most of the questions were pretty easy, but that last one was a humdinger.
- 2011 July 19, Robbie Brown, “Arkansas Town Draws a Line on Clubs”, in New York Times:
- “I’ve seen some humdingers, but never any ordinance like this,” said Mark Hayes, general counsel for the Arkansas Municipal League, an organization for towns and cities.