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French Word of the Day: Dingue

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French Word of the Day: Dingue
11:19 CEST+02:00
If you want to sound French, some words really hit the spot when sprinkled into a conversation. 'Dingue' is a great example, and it's a very useful word to have up your sleeve as it can be used in several different ways.
Why do you need to know dingue?
 
'Dingue' has several different meanings, so once you get a good grasp of it, the word can come in very handy to express a number of things and feelings. It also has a great ring to it!
 
So, what does it mean?
 
Dingue literally means 'crazy' or 'mad'. As a noun, it is used in that sense: un dingue is a crazy person. 
 
When used as an adjective, it also means 'mad' or 'crazy', but it can also be used in many other ways to express surprise, disbelief, amazement, astonishment or wonder.
 
So dingue can mean 'incredible', 'amazing', 'unbelievable' or even 'over the top'. 
 
You can also use it to say you're crazy about something or someone: Il est dingue de son fils (he's crazy about his son) as seen in the headline below.
 
 
 
The French Larousse dictionary defines dingue as "a familiar word that describes something that is striking because of its excessive character. It means bizarre, strange, mad".
 
So, as you seen, dingue can really be used in a whole host of ways: why use lots of different superlatives when you can use just one?
 
Origin
 
There are some suggestions that dingue comes from the word 'dengue', a word we also use in English for the disease dengue fever, and presumably the meaning of dingue derived from the fact people went a bit mad when they caught it.
 
Examples
 
1. Quand je ne range pas ma chambre, ma mère devient dingue !
 
When I don't tidy up my room, it drives my mother crazy!
 
2. Ils voyagent tous le temps, ils ont une vie de dingue !
 
They travel all the time, they have an amazing life.
 
3. Quelle coincidence, c'est dingue !
 
What a coincidence, it's incredible!
 
4. Sa femme l'a quitté et ça l'a rendu un peu dingue.
 
His wife left him, and he's gone a bit mad.
 
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