1 Something or someone remarkable or superior; a humdinger. [EDD dinger (at ding v.1 II.1) “a violent blow” 1889→; “anything of a superlative character” 1892] esp Cent
1894 Rockford Daily Reg.–Gaz. (IL) 24 Nov 5/6, This filly is fast at the test and is bred right. Her owner says that she is just a dinger. 1909 Amer. Mag. Nov 1, She’ll ne’er backward linger, this land of our dads, for she is a dinger at nailing the scads. 1909 DN 3.395 nwAR, Dinger. . . Anything particularly liked. “The lecture course this year is a dinger.” 1911 in 1983 Truman Dear Bess 32 MO, Mamma gave me her prescription for dipping chickens [in a preparation designed to kill parasites] and it’s a dinger I tell you. 1913 DN 4.16 NE, Dinger. Something very splendid, or stylish. Used by Nebraska students. “Isn’t that hat a dinger?” “That fellow’s a dinger.” “Say, kid, that suit’s a dinger.” 1916 DN 4.322 NE, Dinger . . =humdinger. 1939 Steinbeck Grapes 37 OK, See how good the corn come along until the dust got up. Been a dinger of a crop. c1960 Bailey Resp. to PADS 20 KS, “Dinger” was an often used word to mean “[someone] good at something.” It was used in many ways, usually in a complimentary sense. 1963 Traverse City Rec.–Eagle (MI) 22 Feb 1/8, While this hardly constitutes a dinger of a heat wave, the mercury may reach between 4 and 12 for today’s high. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. B3, If a day is very hot, you say it’s [a] _____) Inf MO4, Dinger; (Qu. KK45, . . Narrow escape . . “He really had a _____.”) Inf NM9, Dinger—a general term; (Qu. LL5, Something impressively big: “That cabbage is really a _____.”) Inf WA30, Dinger. [All Infs old] 1969 Transcript (North Adams MA) 28 Nov 14/3, Only splendid reflexes enabled him to avoid having his chin make violent contact with the hood. “This is going to be a dinger of a day,” he mused. 2009 Orange Leader (TX) 24 May sec B 1/5 KS, The three run lead did not last long as Hubbard answered with a dinger of his own, a solo shot to right center to make it 5-1.
2 In railroading: see quots 1940, 1945.
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