humdinger

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

humdinger (plural humdingers)

  1. (informal) Something that is particularly outstanding, unusual, or exceptional.
    Most of the questions were pretty easy, but that last one was a humdinger.
    • 1961, Joseph Heller, Catch-22, London: Vintage Books, published 2010, →ISBN, page 22:
      “—immense. I'm a real, slam-bang, honest-to-goodness, three-fisted humdinger. I'm a bona fide supraman.” “Superman?” Clevinger cried. “Superman?” “Supraman,” Yossarian corrected.
    • 2011 July 19, Robbie Brown, “Arkansas Town Draws a Line on Clubs”, in New York Times[1]:
      “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.

Further reading[edit]