Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2011-03-08
The roots of the English verb “ding” run deep. One use of the verb, popular from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, meant to beat, knock, crush, or press a person. This usage probably derives from a Norse word meaning “to hammer.” But in this period “ding” also meant to make a ringing sound, a usage that may be onomatopoetically derived from the noise made by a bell. This latter meaning extended itself to mean saying something repeatedly with the intentions of driving it into the other person’s mind.
These two usages of “ding,” derived from different sources, have cross-fertilized each other. One of these usages, or perhaps both of them, have given rise to a modern sense of “ding” that means to penalize someone, or to make someone the object of abuse. We talk about “dinging someone for a loan.” Or a referee that “dings the team two points” for breaking a rule. Or teachers that “ding” students for not doing their homework.
The term “golddigger” put in an appearance in the Roaring Twenties. A golddigger was a woman who became a companion of a rich male in order to mine his gold. It was inevitable, I suppose, that some one would miss the metaphor behind the word “golddigger” and change the term to “golddinger.” The web has few examples:
Reality TV forum: “I just watched Meri-de’s video interview on The Outback Jack web-site and she said that Jack confided in her that he thinks that Marissa is a golddinger.” (http://www.fansofrealitytv.com/forums/o … rview.html)
Blog post: “This Tomi Rae…was nothing but a user and a golddinger” (http://www.artharris.com/2007/01/22/tom … -kids-too/)
TV message board: “ If she is so rich why did she have to call everyone to get cash to bail him out? Slade…he deserves the houchy gold dinger.” (http://boards.bravotv.com/lofiversion/i … 85428.html)
Forum post discussing Fosset: “okso he is dead not sean for 3 mouths and she not a gold dinger ” (http://www.topix.com/forum/chicago/T2G8J9R835DBIE14U/p2)
Nice one, Kem! I’ve grown to expect your lucid and rigorous analysis, but how in the world wide web did you ever dig up this little gem?
What a difference a key makes; finger >> dinger >> bell >> (telephone) ring tone. I can just imagine a 007 movie theme lyric like, “The man with the golden ‘phone’...” So, it’s no surprise that I got an extra kick out of the imagery in a couple of other web examples concerning Goldfinger cellphone ring tones:
For the Men, could you marry a woman of a different religion, and if however you married such woman, would you compel her to change her religion for yours?
[Response] It depends on the dowry… a few oil platforms could help a lot to open my heart to some Arab beauty…
[Response] In other word, you’re a goal digger? lol
my hands are full put it in my shirt pocket…yea THAT happens ALL THE TIME (eyes rollimg)…guy has massive hands, what did she think would happen…oh, he’s rich & already has a bad character rep…can you say GOAL DIGGER!!!
I’m from the ghetto. Walking 20 miles until you grow up and get a chance to buy a bicycle, but then here comes the man with the money and sometimes you as a young youth and you have this girl that you like. But you have some goal digger girls. I’m not saying you have good girl, you have excellent girls out there, but you still have goal diggers and you still have to be looking out for them.