Dippy

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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?
 
  • AiméeBeaucoup

    Senior Member
    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?
     

    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.
     

    GMF1991

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    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".
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    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).
     

    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.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    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.[...]
    Don't be pleased if someone calls you dippy.
    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':))
     

    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.
     

    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.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    The Collins dictionary doesn't define "dippy" as "charming and attractive." It defines it as:
    slightly odd or unusual, but in a way that you find charming and attractive.
    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.
     

    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?
     

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    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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