Toby

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See also: toby

English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

The Middle English vernacular form of Tobias.

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Toby (plural Tobys)

  1. A male given name.
    • 1602 William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene 3:
      By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o' nights: your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.
    • 1765 Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, Book IV, Chapter 18:
      And for my own part, said my uncle Toby, though I should blush to boast of myself, Trim - yet had my name been Alexander, I could have done no more at Namur than my duty.
    • 2013, John le Carré, A Delicate Truth, Penguin UK (ISBN 9780241965177)
      His name was Toby Bell and he was entirely alone in his criminal contemplations. [ - - - ] As to the Toby, which might by the sound of it set him higher on the English social ladder than his provenance deserved, it derived from nothing more elevated than his father's pride in the holy man Tobias, whose wondrous filial virtues are set down in the ancient scripts.
  2. (rare) A female given name.
  3. A patronymic surname​.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Shelta toba (the road).

Noun[edit]

Toby

  1. The superintendent of a street market.
    • 2006, David Eldridge, Market Boy (ISBN 0413776069), page 29:
      The Boy shakes his head and the Toby comes on to the market wielding a claw hammer.
    • 2010, Howard Jacobson, The Mighty Walzer (ISBN 1446413276), page 82:
      But every market was reputed to be run the same way. The Toby was the godfather.
    • 2011, Des Thompson, Naive Diamond (ISBN 1465355324), page 195:
      At first, neither of them seemed to notice it until the Toby (market traders name for the market manager) in charge of the market started shouting and waving his arms telling the driver that he couldn't park there.

Derived terms[edit]