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hoity-toity

[hoi-tee-toi-tee]
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adjective
  1. assuming airs; pretentious; haughty.
  2. giddy; flighty.
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noun
  1. giddy behavior.
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Origin of hoity-toity

First recorded in 1660–70; rhyming compound based on hoit to romp, riot (now obsolete)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hoity-toity

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was Paddy and Hoity-Toity engaged in animated discussion.

    The O'Ruddy

    Stephen Crane

  • I barred the door even as Hoity-Toity's fist thundered on the oak.

    The O'Ruddy

    Stephen Crane

  • Hoity-toity, I don't see as he's any better than anybody else.

    Reels and Spindles

    Evelyn Raymond

  • "Hoity-toity," said the waiter, and he left off throwing the sand.

    Sybil

    Benjamin Disraeli

  • I know the girl for a sly, scheming, hoity-toity flirt, but to think that she'd act so low like!

    The Long Chance

    Peter B. Kyne


British Dictionary definitions for hoity-toity

hoity-toity

adjective
  1. informal arrogant or haughtywe have had enough of her hoity-toity manner
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Word Origin

C17: rhyming compound based on C16 hoit to romp, of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hoity-toity

also hoity toity, 1660s, "riotous behavior," from earlier highty tighty "frolicsome, flighty," perhaps an alteration and reduplication of dialectal hoyting "acting the hoyden, romping" (1590s), see hoyden. Sense of "haughty" first recorded late 1800s, probably on similarity of sound.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper