Origin of the usage for "dingus"?

Sorry if this is a little off-topic. I have never seen the word “dingus” to refer to a program that demonstrates the input and output of a program or parser outside the context of markdown.

Yet, it seems like many people that write a markdown processor set up a “dingus” to show it off. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are great, even essential for new languages. However, I’m just curious where this started… Gruber?

It’s not documented in wikipedia or other slang language public records. If this is common parlance, please bring me up to speed. If not, what is the official definition of a “dingus” within this context?



My understanding is as follows:

Gruber came up with the Markdown syntax, and wrote a tool for converting Markdown source into HTML. He needed a name for the converter and naming things is hard so he just called it a “dingus”, which is like calling it a “doohickey” or “thinger”. It’s a word to use when you don’t know what word to use.

Then as markdown became popular, other programmers would write their own variants and need their own conversion tools. Naming things didn’t get any easier, and “dingus” being such an uncommon word just kinda stuck for this usage as part of the markdown jargon.


Apparently originally of Dutch and South African origin?

1 Like