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poky

[poh-kee] /ˈpoʊ ki/
adjective, pokier, pokiest. Informal.
1.
puttering; slow; dull:
poky drivers.
2.
(of a place) small and cramped:
a poky little room.
3.
(of dress) dowdy.
noun, plural pokies.
4.
Slang. a jail:
They put him in the poky for carrying a concealed weapon.
Origin of poky
1840-1850
First recorded in 1840-50; poke1 + -y1
Related forms
pokily, adverb
pokiness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for poky
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I wouldn't have you go prowling about this poky old place for anything.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • But I'm due in a poky little place in Massachusetts called Enderby.

    Elsie Marley, Honey

    Joslyn Gray
  • The children are behaving as well as can be, and Sykes too; and it's not a poky house, by any means.

    Sarah's School Friend

    May Baldwin
  • We never have parties in Tideshead, except at the vestry in the winter; and they're so poky.

    Betty Leicester Sarah Orne Jewett
  • But you just swallow it all, and then you get to be so poky a body has no comfort in life.

    The Faith Doctor Edward Eggleston
  • So it did not seem at all a poky or stuffy house though it was so small.

    My New Home Mary Louisa Molesworth
  • “I can't help it, mamma; Battles is slow and poky,” he fumed.

  • One hundred and thirty pounds a year for this poky little hole?

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • The miserable weeks went on, in the poky house crammed with children.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
British Dictionary definitions for poky

poky

/ˈpəʊkɪ/
adjective pokier, pokiest
1.
(informal) (esp of rooms) small and cramped
2.
without speed or energy; slow
noun
3.
(mainly US & Canadian, slang) the poky, prison
Derived Forms
pokily, adverb
pokiness, noun
Word Origin
C19: from poke1 (in slang sense: to confine)
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 poky
adj.

also pokey, 1828, "confined, pinched, shabby," later (1856) "slow, dull;" from varied senses of poke (v.) + -y (2). Also cf. poke (n.3). Related: Pokily; pokiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for poky

pokey 1

noun

A jail; clink, slammer: My thoughts centered around the prospect of the ''Pokey''

[1919+; origin unknown]

pokey 2

adjective

  1. Slow; dawdling; sluggish: What a pokey waiter (1856+)
  2. Insignificant; paltry: a pokey little town (1849+)

Related Terms

hokey-pokey

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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