Dingle dårhus

Answered by Ingrid Boström
What is the orgin of the expression "Dingle dårhus?" And what does it mean? I am trying to make sense of an expression from a Swedish movie, Kim Novak badade aldrig i Genesarets sjö (2005), which is set in 1962, in which a character who mentions an aunt who was in (or ran) a "Dingle dårhus," which apparently means a "Dingle madhouse." When I Googled the expression I came up with a few uses of the expression on Swedish blogs, but not enough that I can make sense of what they were referring to. I think one of them was talking about school subjects; perhaps it is slang for a type of school. What does the boy mean when he uses the expression? What do others mean when they use it, or are they referring back to the book? What's the orgin of the expression?

”Dingle dårhus” is not a wellknown expression in Sweden.The references on Google might well originate from the film/book by Nesser. But there is a small community in the southwest of Sweden, north of Gothenburg, called Dingle. (Pronounced Ding – le) and there seems to have been an asylum there, ackording to Google.

A personal comment: Dingle dårhus is mentioned in connection with the mad aunt, who ran into a moose with her bike, and then spent the rest of her life in an asylum.
Dingle is not a ”typical” Swedish word, it almost sounds like dingla (English dangle). It's hard to believe that the ”moose-episode” made the poor aunt mad. But since mental disorders were something embarrising, the children might have been told the sad story in a more fun way, with the moose, and the name Dingle might have added more absurdity to it. And the alliteration might have made it easier to remember. That's the feeling I get.

12 January 2012 - 23:10