Dinghy - dingy

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The two words dinghy and dingy are sometimes confused, in reading by the careless and in writing by the unaware. Don't be careless - and this page should make you aware.

  • Dinghy is pronounced with the same middle consonant sound as 'singing', IPA: /'dɪŋ ɪ/ . It is a noun, and means 'a small boat'. Dinghies were originally used as tenders, or boats designed to do such jobs as fetching stores or carrying messages , e.g. from a ship at anchor to the nearby shore. They were carried therefore on bigger vessels. Now they are the commonest form of undecked sailing boats used in the sport of sailing, and are not usually carried on ships.
  • The first syllable of dingy rhymes with 'cringe', 'fringe' and 'binge' - the '-g-' sounds like '-j-', IPA: /'dɪndʒ ɪ/. Dingy is an adjective which means 'lacking light, dark or drab' or 'dirty or soiled', but particularly in the sense of 'uncared for', 'unwashed', or 'needing redecoration or repainting [and so on].'