peachy-keen

[ pee-chee-keen ]
/ ˈpi tʃiˈkin /

adjective Informal.

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Origin of peachy-keen

An Americanism dating back to 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does peachy-keen mean?

Peachy-keen is a very informal and playful way of saying excellent or wonderful.

The word peachy can be used to mean the same thing.

The word keen can mean enthusiastic, but it can also be used as a slang term meaning wonderful or splendid, and this is probably what it’s intended to mean in peachy-keen (making it doubly positive, kind of like the phrase fine and dandy).

As far as slang goes, peachy-keen sounds a bit dated. For this reason, it’s often used to be a bit cutesy or silly. Perhaps because it sounds overly optimistic or cheerful, it’s also often used in a sarcastic way, as in Yeah, my meeting ran late and I got a flat tire, but sure, my day was just peachy-keen.

The term is sometimes seen without a hyphen (peachy keen).

Example: You may be peachy-keen, jelly bean, but I’m nectarine-keen—I’m smooth and I’m sweet and I’ve got all the buzz without the fuzz.

Where does peachy-keen come from?

Peachy-keen was first and is primarily used in the U.S. The first records of it come from the 1950s. The slang sense of peachy is recorded earlier, around 1900. The word peach has been used as a slang term referring to an especially likeable or attractive person since at least the 1700s. The word keen has been used as a slang term meaning “wonderful” since the 1910s.

Like other slang terms of the 1950s and ’60s, peachy-keen is now most often used in an ironic way, though you may still encounter an endlessly cheery person who’s keen to use it earnestly. The word peachy is perhaps more commonly used, but it too is prone to being used in a sarcastic way.

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What are some synonyms for peachy-keen?

What are some words that share a root or word element with peachy-keen

 

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What are some words peachy-keen may be confused with?

 

 

How is peachy-keen used in real life?

Peachy-keen is often used in a cutesy or sarcastic way.

 

 

Try using peachy-keen!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of peachy-keen?

A. hunky-dory
B. swell
C. A-OK
D. mediocre