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90s Slang You Should Know


[tof] /tɒf/
noun, British Informal.
a stylishly dressed, fashionable person, especially one who is or wants to be considered a member of the upper class.
Origin of toff
First recorded in 1850-55; perhaps variant of tuft Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for toff
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • toff glanced at the door of Sally's room, shrugged his shoulders, and obeyed his instructions.

    The Fallen Leaves Wilkie Collins
  • By now the mews had wakened to the fact of the presence of a "toff" in its midst.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • A little boy can sneak behind a 'toff' and relieve him of his 'wipe' as easily as possible.

    Six Years in the Prisons of England A Merchant - Anonymous
  • It must be held that the Marquis was justified in getting rid of Mrs. toff.

    Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
  • W'y wouldn't yer go with the toff and pl'y in ther big horchestra?

    The Old Flute-Player Edward Marshall and Charles T. Dazey
  • "I don't believe that toff knows anything about it," she said.

    Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
  • Oh,” said his mate, “any one could see 'e was a toff—I seed him black 'is boots and brush his teeth.

    Spinifex and Sand David W Carnegie
British Dictionary definitions for toff


(Brit, slang) a rich, well-dressed, or upper-class person, esp a man
Word Origin
C19: perhaps variant of tuft, nickname for a titled student at Oxford University, wearing a cap with a gold tassel
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 toff

lower-class British slang for "stylish dresser, member of the smart set," 1851, said to be probably an alteration of tuft, formerly an Oxford University term for a nobleman or gentleman-commoner (1755), in reference to the gold ornamental tassel worn on the caps of undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge whose fathers were peers with votes in the House of Lords.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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