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[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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for toffs
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When you go on your trip for action in the Bois among the toffs, will you take me with you?

    Caught In The Net Emile Gaboriau
  • Is this the way you treat the toffs, when they come to see you?

  • You're a toff, that's what you are, and your lines has been laid for toffs.

  • We could see the toffs in evening dress idling in the glow of her electric lights.

    The Sea and the Jungle H. M. Tomlinson
  • There's hundreds of toffs in England and Injia'd give their ears for a day after these, you know.

    An Outback Marriage Andrew Barton Paterson
  • As most of the clothes worn by men are tailor-made, a great many "toffs" may be seen in Durban.

  • So now we're bloomin' toffs, an' I'll get a pair of reach-me-downs this very bloomin' night.

    Harding's luck E. [Edith] Nesbit
  • By a curious coincidence the great news seemed to have reached all, toffs and crooks alike, at exactly the same time.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
British Dictionary definitions for toffs


(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 toffs



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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