Is the word 'mingy' popular?

Can someone please tell me how often is the word mingy used in spoken English?

mingy Show phonetics
adjective INFORMAL
1 not generous and unwilling to give money:
I only gave five dollars towards his present - do you think that was a bit mingy?

2 describes an amount that is smaller than you would like:
I hate that restaurant - they give you really mingy portions. … &dict=CALD

I know what it means Molly. I just want to know if it’s used very often.


mingy - 8
stingy - 35
mean (adj.) - 2493

Hi Daemon

I don’t hear anyone use that word in everyday American English, and although I’m sure it has been used somewhere, I can’t recall ever having read the word either.

Certainly has:

Though syndicated programs have mingy budgets compared with the networks’, even a cheap game or talk show costs almost $ 10 million to make and market these days, and the fatality rate is high.

Title Pie Fights and Pigs-With-Bizet;
Author Paula Span, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source Washington Post

In retrospect, though, she acknowledges that when she first visited the place, she’d overlooked the mingy selection of toys and activities.

Title Who’s watching the kids? What you don’t know about your child-care arrangements will worry you
Author Stone, Felicity
Source Todays Parent

Fourteen dollars, for two coffees and two mingy blondies, which he paid without flinching, even leaving the change from his twenty in the concessionaire’s plastic cup.

Title A Knight at the Opera
Author Thomas M Disch
Source The Hudson Review

(What’s a “blondie” there?)

Hi Daemon


[size=84](See my previous post.)[/size] :wink:

Ahhh, mingy!!! I love this word, as taught to me by some of my Limey friends. It’s a great word.

Unfortunately, it’s only used in BrE, and although I’ve desperately championed it’s usage in AmE, my fellow Yanks just roll their eyes and give me odd looks.

I don’t know how widespread it is in BrE, either. The woman who taught me the term had a strong regional accent, although I don’t now remember what part of England she was from (For some reason, I seem to associate Northumbria and Newcastle with her.) She used it all the time, but the other English gals didn’t seem to use it as much as she did. Maybe she was just overly fond of the word.

She also referred to her socks and underwear as ‘bits’, too.

Ok, OK! I’ll amend my last response to this:
“No, however it does appear to be popular with Skrej.” :mrgreen:

(Please note that I did not use the rolling-eyes smiley. :lol:)

Better amend that to ‘Skrej and Kara’ (the gal who was overly fond of it). :lol:

Yet it is found in COCA. See above.

Yes, you’re right. 10 uses in 15 years, including at least one excerpt from an Irish author’s text, conclusively proves that ‘mingy’ is used in AmE.

Someday, I hope you’ll stop equating ‘found’ with ‘usage’. Those corpora results don’t measure usage, they measure citation in published material. Nor are they fully parsed. Published material is written in language that’s considerably different from colloquial usage.

They’re a useful tool, not ironclad proof, and as such are fallible, particularly if used as solitary justification taken on blind faith.

To use your BNC link above, I find 0 references to ‘innit’ in BrE. Therefor using your rationale, I can safely declare that nobody in Britain (or according to COCA in America, either) uses the word ‘innit’. It must not exist!!!

But here we find somebody using it, when it doesn’t exist. Oh, the conundrum!

Conclusion: Corpora are inconclusive and meaningless when used as ‘proof’ by blind citation.

Do you think it proves that? I don’t. I used the words “found in”.

What’s published material got to do with this?

Not sure where I did that.

I agree. It’s much the same with native-speaker intuition. It’s is a useful tool, does not provide not ironclad proof, is fallible, particularly if used as solitary justification taken on blind faith. Do you agree?

I agree. Again, it’s the same with native-speaker intution.

I don’t hear “mingy” very often, in BrE; it turns up in connection with portions of food (e.g. “that’s a bit mingy”), as well as money.

Best wishes,


It’s even found in the NYT:

Marion Cotillard is 31 but so in demand in her native France that she already has more than that many movies on her résumé. Thanks to the mingy distribution of foreign films here, American audiences probably know Ms. Cotillard, if they know her at all, as—

More here: … ngy&st=nyt

Yes; it’s quite easy to find examples of its use.