Although the etymology of the expression is still under debate, the most widely agreed upon theory concerning the origin of “Humdinger” is that it’s a portmanteau of the slang expressions “Dinger” describing something as high quality and “Hummer” which was a slang term used for energetic people by the late 1600’s, which shifted toward the meaning of “Humdinger” over the centuries.
The first documented occurrence of the expression can be linked to a daily newspaper in Livingston, Montana, the Daily Enterprise, which included the term in one of the articles in their issue of June 4th, 1883.
During the 20th century, “Humdinger” spread rapidly throughout the entire United States, with encounters even occurring in Canada.
It was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2003, with several entries following.
The expression’s relevance was boosted in 2013, when the children’s animated series “PAW Patrol” first aired on August 12th, featuring the character Mayor Humdinger.