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dingus

[ ding-uhs ]
/ ˈdɪŋ əs /
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noun, plural ding·us·es.Informal.
a gadget, device, or object whose name is unknown or forgotten.
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Origin of dingus

1870–75; <Dutch dinges or its source, German Dinges, probably originally genitive, with partitive value, of Dingthing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does dingus mean?

Dingus is a very informal word for an object whose name you don’t know, have forgotten, or can’t recall at the moment.

It’s often used to refer to gadgets or parts of things that might not even have a commonly known name, as in Before we attach the bracket, we have to insert this dingus here. 

There are several other similarly informal words that are used in the same way , including thingy, thingamajig, thingamabob, doohickey, doodad, whachamacallit, and whatsit.

Example: My kids got me one of those dinguses that track your steps. What’s it called? A stepometer?

Where does dingus come from?

The first records of the word dingus come from the 1870s. It comes from the Dutch word dinges, from the German Ding, meaning “thing.” So a dingus is really a thingus.

Today, the word is especially used to refer to small, physical objects, but its ambiguous nature means it can be used for all kinds of things (which is really the point of a word like dingus). Sometimes, it’s used just to be a bit funny, even if you actually know the name of the object you’re referring to.

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What are some other forms related to dingus?

  • dinguses (plural)

What are some synonyms for dingus?

What are some words that share a root or word element with dingus

What are some words that often get used in discussing dingus?

 

How is dingus used in real life?

Dingus is very informal. It’s especially used in speech as a way for the speaker to refer to something whose name they don’t know or can’t remember at that moment.

 

Try using dingus!

Is dingus used correctly in the following sentence?

This darn dingus doesn’t even work anymore—can you pick up another one at the store?

How to use dingus in a sentence

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