dinging (solicit a quick quotable statement)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Sep 23 01:22:27 UTC 2010

HDAS shows _ding_ in the related sense of "nag or harass" from 1942, though
not very commonly.

As "nick, scratch, or dent" (v. & n.), from 1968. GB claims "minor dings"
from 1947, 1962, and 1964, but I can't verify them. The relevant senses must
have seemed pretty novel to the 1968 writer: he included them in a glossary
of surfing slang and linked them to surfboard damage.

"Ding" essentially means to hit or strike. I assume that the
implied strength of the blow has often been secondary and variable.


On Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 9:01 PM, Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at gmail.com>wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Victor Steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      dinging (solicit a quick quotable statement)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>  http://bit.ly/bTCEWm
> > Goodman, who spent a decade at The Washington Post before his three
> > years at the Times, says he will still rely on facts and not engage in
> > "ranting." And while he was happy at the newspaper, he says, he found
> > he was engaged in "almost a process of laundering my own views,
> > through the tried-and-true technique of dinging someone at some think
> > tank to say what you want to tell the reader."
> There is an interesting oddly related OED parallel for this, though:
> > ding v.1
> >
> > *4. b.* Without extension. (In quots. neuter passive, as in 'a loaf
> > that cuts badly'.)
> > *1786* BURNS /A Dream/ iv, But Facts are cheels that winna ding, An'
> > downa be disputed. /Mod. Sc. Prov/. Facts are stubborn things; they'll
> > neither ding nor drive [i.e. they can neither be moved by force as
> > inert masses, nor driven like cattle].
> A tangentially related question: when did "ding" reverse its meaning?
> > 1. intr. (or absol.) To deal heavy blows; to knock, hammer, thump
> >
> > 2. trans. To beat, knock, strike with heavy blows; to thrash, flog.
> > b. To crush with a blow, smash. Obs.
> > c. To thrust through, pierce (with a violent thrust). Sc. Obs.
> >
> > 3. fig. To 'beat', overcome, surpass, excel.
> Now compare that to the more recent expression "ding[ed] the car door".
> "Dings" in a car outer shell are minor dents that are annoying but do
> not represent serious structural damage (although they may detract from
> the value of the car). More generally, a "ding" is essentially a minor
> indentation or pit in the surface, and "to ding" is to make such an
> impression in a surface. It appears to be precisely the opposite of
> "striking a heavy blow".
>     VS-)
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