Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[pat-see] /ˈpæt si/
noun, plural patsies. Slang.
a person who is easily swindled, deceived, coerced, persuaded, etc.; sucker.
a person upon whom the blame for something falls; scapegoat; fall guy.
a person who is the object of a joke, ridicule, or the like.
Origin of patsy
An Americanism dating back to 1900-05; origin uncertain


[pat-see] /ˈpæt si/
a male given name, form of Patrick.
a female given name, form of Patricia. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for patsy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for patsy


noun (slang, mainly US & Canadian) (pl) -sies
a person who is easily cheated, victimized, etc
a scapegoat
Word Origin
C20: of unknown 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for patsy

"fall guy, victim of a deception," 1903, of uncertain origin, possibly an alteration of Italian pazzo "madman" (see patch (n.2)), or south Italian dialectal paccio "fool." Another theory traces it to Patsy Bolivar, character created by Billy B. Van in an 1890s vaudeville skit who was blamed whenever anything went wrong.

"Poor Rogers," Vincent said, still smiling, "he is always the 'Patsy Bolivar' of the school."
"Yes," Frank answered, "if there are any mistakes to be made or trouble to fall into, Rogers seems to be always the victim." ["Anthony Yorke," "A College Boy," 1899]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for patsy



  1. A victim; dupe; sucker: a patsy, a quick push, a big softie/ But to retain lawyers is clear proof that you're a patsy
  2. A person who takes the blame for a crime, who is put up against a superior opponent in order to lose, etc; fall guy

[1903+; apparently fr the name of Patsy Bolivar, a character in a minstrel skit of the 1880s, who was blamed for whatever went wrong]

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for patsy

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for patsy

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for patsy