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Posted by R. Berg on May 30, 2003

In Reply to: Humdinger posted by janes_kid on May 30, 2003

: : : What is the origin of "humdinger" which is used to imply a "big deal" or some sort of extravagance?

: : According to Merriam-Webster Online:

: : Main Entry: hum·ding·er
: : Pronunciation: 'h&m-'di[ng]-&r
: : Function: noun
: : Etymology: probably alteration of hummer
: : Date: circa 1904
: : : a striking or extraordinary person or thing

: : The definition for hummer is just "one that hums", but I am not sure what that has to do with it. The American Heritage Dictionary lists the etymology as "unknown".

: Hum may have come from an old dutch word for bumblebee and ding for to strike. Is humdinger like a bee sting?

"Ding" also means a ringing noise. Maybe "humdinger" comes down to "noisy noisemaker."