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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)

  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.

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