v. (past pl.)


(Modern English ding)


The Gmc comparanda point (securely) to (a) a corresponding PGmc (or at least PNWGmc) wk. v. *dang(w)jan- and (less securely) to (b) a str. *dengwan-, either or both of which might have contributed to ME dingen. For (a), cp. OIcel dengja ‘to hammer (metal), forge; urge/press, ask persistently’, MHG tengen, dengeln, and perh. OE dencgan ‘to beat’ (though this is securely attested only once, and relatively late) and its (possible) later reflexes MnE dinge v. (‘to make a broadish hollow or depression in the surface of (anything), as by a knock; to dint, bruise, batter’), dinge n. (‘a broadish dint or depression on a surface caused by a knock or blow; a slight hollow or indentation’). For the str. v. (b), the only safe examples seem to be OSw diunga, ODan dinge, and it is conceivable that these are secondary formations (Bj.-L.), but the existence of a PGmc *dengwan- is normally assumed (thus e.g. Orel, Kroonen). ME dingen is usually explained as a loan < the wk. ON dengja (TGD, GDS (and McGee 326, Nagano 1966: 61), Flom, and (tentatively) OED) in which case the lack of assibilation of /ɡ/ (if such can be assumed for the ME spellings) would apply as a test of loan. But the ME v. usually has a str. past (dang, dungen etc.), and some authorities therefore prefer either loan < ON str.*dinga or an unrecorded native cognate, OE *dingan (thus MED).

PGmc Ancestor

*dang(w)jan- or *dengwan-

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

dengja ‘to hammer (metal), forge; urge/press, ask persistently’
(ONP dengja (vb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far deingja, Icel dengja, Norw dengja, Dan dænge, OSw dængia, Sw dial däng(j)a

OE Cognate

dencgan ‘to beat’ 

Phonological and morphological markers

[absence of palatalization of */ɡ/] (possibly diagnostic) (may not be applicable)

Summary category



ME dingen is first attested in (c1300) Havelok (LdMisc 108) and c1300 Body & S.(5) (LdMisc 108); most of MED’s citations are N/EM, with exceptions (inc. PP, c1380 Firumb.(1) (Ashm 33)). 

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 2105; Cl 1266

MS <dȳneʒ> at Gaw 2105 is emended by to *<dyngez> by most editors, but alternative readings have also been suggested; see further *dyngez (v.).


MED dingen (v.) , OED ding (v.1) ; OED dinge (n.1) ; OED dinge (v.1) , HTOED , Dance dyngez, Bj. 207–8, de Vries dengja, Mag. dengja, Bj-L. denge, Orel *đanʒwjanan; *đengwanan, Kroonen *dangjan-; *dingwan-, DOE dyngan, dengan; dynige