hoity-toity

noun
hoi·​ty-toi·​ty | \ ˌhȯi-tē-ˈtȯi-tē How to pronounce hoity-toity (audio) , ˌhī-tē-ˈtī-tē \

Definition of hoity-toity

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: thoughtless giddy behavior

hoity-toity

adjective

Definition of hoity-toity (Entry 2 of 2)

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

When Should You Use hoity-toity?

Hoity-toity is believed to have been created as a rhyme based on the dialectal English word hoit, meaning "to play the fool." Hoity-toity can mean "foolish" (e.g., "… as though it were very hoity-toity of me not to know that royal personage." — W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge), but it is most often used to mean "pretentious."

First Known Use of hoity-toity

Noun

1668, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hoity-toity

Noun

rhyming compound from English dialect hoit to play the fool

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The first known use of hoity-toity was in 1668

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Dictionary Entries Near hoity-toity

hoit

hoity-toity

hoja

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Cite this Entry

“Hoity-toity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoity-toity. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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