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Avoid these words. Seriously.


[hoi-tee-toi-tee] /ˈhɔɪ tiˈtɔɪ ti/
assuming airs; pretentious; haughty.
giddy; flighty.
giddy behavior.
Origin of hoity-toity
First recorded in 1660-70; rhyming compound based on hoit to romp, riot (now obsolete) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hoity-toity
Contemporary Examples
  • How did the most American of retailers get mixed up with a hoity-toity Parisian boutique?

    Voilà, Le Gap! Choire Sicha September 24, 2009
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
  • She's none of your hoity-toity characters, one thing one day and another the next, so you never know where you stand with them.

    The Gentle Art of Cooking Wives Elizabeth Strong Worthington
  • "hoity-toity," said the old gentleman, turning round in some surprise, and even dismay when he caught sight of her face.

    How It All Came Round L. T. Meade
  • The Smith boy appears to be a very nice young fellow, and remarkably sensible for a young person in this hoity-toity age.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Lucille's haughty and fiery temper could hardly brook this hoity-toity assumption of authority.

British Dictionary definitions for hoity-toity


(informal) arrogant or haughty: we have had enough of her hoity-toity manner
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
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hoity-toity



Snobbishly exclusive; haughty; uppish; snooty: in the hoity-toitiest of Fifth Avenue shops/ Will he go all hoity-toity on us? (1668+)


(also highty-tighty): Highty tighty! What a debil of a rage (1695+)

[fr earlier highty-tighty, ''peremptory, quarrelsome,'' perhaps related to the notion of being high in the sense of ''superior'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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