(written as mondo)excellent, admirable. The American combining form was adopted as a synonym for such vogue terms of approbation as top in around 1991.
- combining form an all-purpose combining word which in Italian and Spanish means ‘world (of)’ and in American English means ‘a situation of…’ or ‘a state of affairs characterised by…’. The word is then followed by the defining word, usually with a mock-Latin ‘o’ ending as in ‘mondo-sleazo’, ‘mondo-bozo’ or ‘mondo-cheapo’. This pattern derives from the 1963 Italian documentary film Mondo Cane (translated as ‘A Dog’s Life’) which acquired cult status and inspired first intellectual wits and later college students and Valley Girls to coin similar phrases.