Saturday, December 31, 2011


Fountain of the Moor, Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy  © Doug Hickok
(Velvia slide film)

The word for the day is humdinger. It is an informal noun meaning an excellent person or thing. Its origin is American English slang from around 1905, derived from the words hummer or dinger (perhaps a beautiful woman). The following are a few possible usages...

An art critic from the Ozark hills once described La Fontana del Moro by Della Porta as "a humdinger example of early Baroque sculpture".

That fashion dive Medusa had one humdinger of a hairdo.

After winning the tiddlywinks tournament, Roger rewarded himself with a real humdinger of a hamburger, stacked high with dozens of pickles chopped into tiny chips (hence the invention of picklelywinks).

Some spin-off words might include humdingerthon, which may refer to a spectacular, long-lasting event... as well as the rowdier version of the word, humdingerpalooza.

So twist and shout, and toot your horns... have a New Year's celebration that is one big humdingerpalooza!

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