What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[ding-kee] /ˈdɪŋ ki/
adjective, dinkier, dinkiest.
Informal. small, unimportant, unimpressive, or shabby:
We stayed in a dinky old hotel.
British Informal. fashionable; well dressed; smart.
noun, plural dinkies.
Origin of dinky
1780-90; compare Scots dink neatly dressed, trim (of obscure origin); sense shift perhaps: trim > dainty > small > insignificant; see -y1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dinky
  • dinky little velvet-covered buttons are not for you.
  • It may seem crazy, but it was running a dinky club that set me on the path to seeing myself as someone who could run a business.
  • But its dinky little shell is inside the big, slippery body, so a sea hare can't pull back into its shell for protection.
  • These are not your dinky, wrapped in plastic, grocery story caramel apples.
British Dictionary definitions for dinky


adjective (informal) dinkier, dinkiest
(Brit) small and neat; dainty
(US) inconsequential; insignificant
Word Origin
C18 (in the sense: dainty): from dink
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dinky

1788 "neat, trim, dainty, small," from Scottish dialectal dink "finely dressed, trim" (c.1500), of unknown origin. Modern sense is 1850s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dinky


v,v phr

To perform successfully, esp after promising; come through: It's a very tough assignment, but he thinks he can deliver/ He talks big, but can he deliver the goods? (1909+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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