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Dippy

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nemo eve walle, May 2, 2013.

  1. nemo eve walle

    nemo eve walle Senior Member

    chinese
    Collins defines ''dippy'' as: ADJ If you describe someone as dippy, you mean that they are slightly odd or unusual, but in a way that you find charming and attractive.
    But, Macmillan defines it as: silly, especially in a pleasant or funny way
    Even this forum dictionary: slang odd, eccentric, or crazy
    I would like to ask when you native speakers are using this word to describe a person, do you think the person somehow charming or attractive? Or she/he is just simply, sheer stupid and eccentric?
     
  2. AiméeBeaucoup Senior Member

    Diss, Norfolk,UK
    British English
    Hello,

    'Dippy' is used when you want to describe someone as being a bit dysfunctional but in a kind way. In other words, you don't want to cast the opinion that you dislike the person concerned, or that you think ill of them.

    "My sister is a bit dippy, she always forgets to let the cat back in at night!"

    Does that make sense?
     
  3. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    Oxford has this: Definition of dippy in Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English): "(informal) silly and eccentric or scatterbrained"

    Longman has this: dippy - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online: "(informal) silly or crazy"

    Chambers has this: Search Chambers - Free English Dictionary: "colloq. crazy; mad - dippy about dogs"


    As with all things, you either like it or you don't.
     
  4. nemo eve walle

    nemo eve walle Senior Member

    chinese
    All of those definition is about odd or crazy or something, but I just want to know if the person described by ''dippy'' is charming and attractive. It is only in Collins, but not the others.
     
  5. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    I've certainly always used it to describe people that I like, and it does always seem that their "dippy" nature adds to their personality, attractive... I don't think that it's linked to attraction. People that I describe as "dippy" tend to be very friendly and likeable people... so I can see the link to "charming" as a definition.
     
  6. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I've never used, or heard anyone else use, this word, although it does appear in US dictionaries. Definitions in three leading ones:

    American Heritage Dictionary: foolish.

    Random House College Dictionary: foolish or somewhat crazy.

    Merriam-Webster Tenth Collegiate: foolish.

    The first two of these label the word "slang".
     
  7. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    Connecticut
    English - US (Midwest)
    The Disney character Goofy was originally known as Dippy Dawg. Dippy and goofy mean the same, and the latter is much more commonly used (in AE, at least).
     
  8. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I'm sure I've heard "dippy" in AE, and to me it suggest more of the "foolish" idea, and not very much of the "attractive" or "pleasant" idea.
    The best thing I can say about someone who is dippy is that they are harmless, and maybe entertaining.
    It's definitely an insulting word, more so than "goofy".
    The online Urban Dictionary, in one instance, derives the word from "dipshit", and you can follow that link to even more insulting definitions.
    Don't be pleased if someone calls you dippy.
     
  9. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    I think there's an AE/BE difference going on with dippy ~ to me it's a very mild insult, hardly an insult at all in fact. I'd define it as 'eccentric or crazy, but in a way that you don't find at all offensive'.

    (By contrast, to me goofy means 'stupid, but in an endearing way':))
     
  10. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    I've a feeling that its closest AE neighbour might well be 'ditzy': amiably eccentric or scatterbrained.
     
  11. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    It strikes me as a very mild insult as well - and yes, I'd say it's pretty much synonymous with ditzy (which is a word that I use more often than dippy).
     
  12. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    :thumbsup: I have the same feeling (now that you mention it, B).
     
  13. MarcB Senior Member

    US English
    George Carlin had a routine called "The hippy dippy weatherman" (see it on YouTube). It represented a weatherman who was "ditzy" in an endearing way.
     
  14. nemo eve walle

    nemo eve walle Senior Member

    chinese
    I see, and I would like to know, since nobody think it means no charming and attractive, and even somewhat insulting, why would Collins dictionary define it as ''charming and attractive''? As you can see on #1.
     
  15. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    The Collins dictionary doesn't define "dippy" as "charming and attractive." It defines it as:
    This means that out of all the ways to say that someone is odd, "dippy" connotes that you aren't disgusted or disturbed by the person's oddness. In fact, you kind of like the way in which that person is odd.
     
  16. nemo eve walle

    nemo eve walle Senior Member

    chinese
    I quote from #8: The online Urban Dictionary, in one instance, derives the word from "dipshit", and you can follow that link to even more insulting definitions. Don't be pleased if someone calls you dippy. If someone calls me ''dippy'', that means I kind of like the way in which that person is odd, how come I can't be pleased?
     
  17. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    >>how come I can't be pleased?

    People's attitudes towards outliers vary from culture to culture, and within those cultures, from person to person.

    Thus, it's hardly surprising that you find divided opinion in this thread, and contrasting definitions on offer from different dictionaries.

    Whether you derive offence from being called dippy will have to be negotiated between you and the person or people making the attribution.

    If you like the idea of being thought of as dippy, but are then angrily denounced as such, it's hard to see how you could derive much pleasure from that exchange.

    If you loathe the idea of being thought of as dippy, but receive frequent friendly praise for your dippiness, you may eventually make an accommodation.
     

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