I was watching a Youtube video on English accents, and in the middle of a Yorkshire one, I think, the author of the video used the word "minging", in what seemed to be an insult. So I have two questions: What's the definition of the word, and does it have any preferred phrases or contexts its used in? I'm looking for more the connotative elements that dictionaries aren't really good at giving.
The most common uses are probably to describe people (and to a slightly lesser extent, objects), with the meaning "very ugly" or "repulsive". Less common but still frequently it can mean "smelling very bad".
It is also found frequently as a verb ("That food mings"; "She mings to high heaven"), with either of the senses above, and also commonly with an "-er" suffix to denote a person not possessed of physical beauty ("That psmears is a right minger").
The New Oxford American Dictionary has:
minging (adjective; British; informal): foul-smelling.
• very bad or unpleasant: I'd really like to burn that minging beige jacket he has glued to him all the time.
ORIGIN 1970s: perhaps from Scots dialect ming ‘excrement.’
As a northern English man I use this word all the time. Minging can mean stinking, revolting, honking. Also there is minger, someone who looks unsightly, or failed to wash and smells, or is generally repulsive. You then have other variations such as ming monged when you're drunk. I'm minging when drunk.
Basically you can use it in any context when describing something revolting. He was, she was minging, he is, she is, they were minging etc.
Being 'minging' can also mean to be hungover.
I've also personally used 'minging' or 'ming' to describe:
- the weather, during a day of heavy rain
- a particular poor piece of programming
- London, when particularly bad for air pollution
My brother uses the phase "ming-be-gone" to refer to anti-perspirant. I'm sure he must have picked that up from somewhere, but I've never heard anybody else use it. It's largely for comedic effect.
Minging originates from a British Army term for being drunk. E.g. "I'm absolutely minging!" This morphed to a wider meaning of "in a bad way or in bad order". E.g., if you have very muddy, dirty boots you may say "My boots are minging!" This later translated into Civi street as "dirty, nasty, ugly, smelly etc.".
Just for interest's sake, I live in London - the use of 'minging' and all its other forms was very common 10 years ago, but has since faded, as 'fad' words do ('wicked' meaning good being one that's almost completely disappeared). I still hear it occasionally, but rarely, so seems like its only being used by older people, or in other regions of the UK.
It means "unpleasant" but you can use it in many contexts; ugly or dirty or disgusting (as in food).