shoddy and unimaginatively designed; flimsy and dull: a row of new, ticky-tacky bungalows.


ticky-tacky material or something made of it, especially housing.

Sometimes tick·y-tack.

Origin of ticky-tacky

First recorded in 1960–65; gradational compound based on tacky2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for ticky-tacky

"inferior, cheap material," 1962 (in song "Little Boxes" by U.S. political folk-singer Malvina Reynolds, 1900-1978), reduplication of tacky.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper