toff

[tof]
See more synonyms for toff on Thesaurus.com
noun British Informal.
  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for toff

Contemporary Examples of toff

  • The Daily Pic: In 1782, Joshua Reynolds gave equal attention to a toff and his mount.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Horse and His Gent

    Blake Gopnik

    October 3, 2013

  • Toff, (slang) n: a person of the upper classes; a swell, dandy; a good sort.

    The Daily Beast logo
    David Cameron’s Toff Problem

    Mike Giglio

    May 3, 2012

  • In other word, he is a toff among toffs—proving, perhaps, that while Cameron may one day go, the toffs might be here to stay.

    The Daily Beast logo
    David Cameron’s Toff Problem

    Mike Giglio

    May 3, 2012

Historical Examples of toff

  • By now the mews had wakened to the fact of the presence of a "toff" in its midst.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • I'm a poor man; I've got no money an' no friends—he 's a toff—he can do wot I can't.

  • The letter was from some toff, 'cause it come from Menzie's Hotel.

  • Toff, I don't believe you wanted to see your master's son and heir!

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope

  • It must be held that the Marquis was justified in getting rid of Mrs. Toff.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope


British Dictionary definitions for toff

toff

noun
  1. British slang a rich, well-dressed, or upper-class person, esp a man

Word Origin for toff

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

Word Origin and History for toff
n.

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