1

hoity–toity

play
noun hoi·ty–toi·ty \ˌhȯi-tē-ˈtȯi-tē, ˌhī-tē-ˈtī-tē\

Definition of hoity–toity

  1. :  thoughtless giddy behavior

Did You Know?

Today we most often use hoity-toity as an adjective, but before it was an adjective it was a noun meaning "thoughtless giddy behavior." The noun, which first appeared in print in 1668, was probably created as a singsongy rhyme based on the dialectal English word hoit, meaning "to play the fool." The adjective hoity-toity can stay close to its roots and mean "foolish" ("… as though it were very hoity-toity of me not to know that royal personage." — W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge), but in current use it more often means "pretentious."

Origin and Etymology of hoity–toity

rhyming compound from English dialect hoit to play the fool


First Known Use: 1668


2

hoity–toity

adjective hoi·ty–toi·ty

Definition of hoity–toity

  1. 1 :  thoughtlessly silly or frivolous :  flighty

  2. 2 :  marked by an air of assumed importance :  highfalutin a hoity-toity college professor The restaurant was too hoity-toity for my tastes.

1812

First Known Use of hoity–toity

1812


HOITY–TOITY Defined for English Language Learners


2

hoity–toity

adjective hoi·ty–toi·ty

Definition of hoity–toity for English Language Learners

  • : having or showing the insulting attitude of people who think that they are better, smarter, or more important than other people


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contemplative of or relative to the past

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