Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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Postby eberntson » Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:45 pm

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This hoi·ty-toi·ty (hoi'tē-toi'tē) Pronunciation Key
Pretentiously self-important; pompous.
Given to frivolity or silliness.


Online Etymology Dictionary - Cite This Source - Share This

1668, "riotous behavior," from earlier highty tighty "frolicsome, flighty," perhaps an alteration and reduplication of dial. hoyting "acting the hoyden, romping" (1594), see hoyden. Sense of "haughty" first recorded late 1800s, probably on similarity of sound.

Ant then there is WordNET, who I think has it wrong with the following definition:

WordNet - Cite This Source - Share This hoity-toity

affectedly genteel [syn: grandiose]
Fear less, hope more;
eat less, chew more;
whine less, breathe more;
talk less, say more,
and all good things will be yours.
--R. Burns

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Postby Slava » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:45 pm

That's quite a change in meaning over time for this one. We go from a frolicsome, flighty hoyden to affectedly genteel.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

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