• synonyms


or tike

  1. a child, especially a small boy.
  2. any small child.
  3. a cur; mongrel.
  4. Chiefly Scot. a low, contemptible fellow; boor.
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Origin of tyke1

1350–1400; Middle English < Old Norse tīk bitch


or tike

  1. Australia and New Zealand Informal. a Roman Catholic.
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Origin of tyke2

1940–45; compare Ulster English Taig contemptuous term for a Roman Catholic Irishman, archaic English teague derogatory name for an Irishman < Irish Tadhg a common personal name
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for tykes

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And there is a saying in the land: "Faithfu' as the Moores and their tykes."

    Bob, Son of Battle

    Alfred Ollivant

  • It's the same wi' Wullie and the tykes—they're doon on him same as men are on me.

    Bob, Son of Battle

    Alfred Ollivant

  • This represents a common pleasantry at the font among the “tykes,” but is necessarily modern.

  • "They say we Yorkshire tykes are a rough lot," said Herrick, smiling, and she took up the challenge at once.

    The Making of a Soul

    Kathlyn Rhodes

  • It tykes more'n twiddley little bits er lights ter scare James Collins, I tells yer.

British Dictionary definitions for tykes



  1. a dog, esp a mongrel
  2. informal a small or cheeky child: used esp in affectionate reproof
  3. British dialect a rough ill-mannered person
  4. Also called: Yorkshire tyke British slang, often offensive a person from Yorkshire
  5. Australian slang, offensive a Roman Catholic
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Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse tīk bitch
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 tykes



c.1400, "cur, mongrel," from Old Norse tik "bitch," related to Middle Low German tike. Also applied in Middle English to a low-bred or lazy man. The meaning "child" is from 1902, though it was used in playful reproof from 1894.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper