Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: toby



Etymology 1[edit]

The Middle English vernacular form of Tobias.

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
      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​.
  4. (chiefly UK) in the traditional Punch and Judy show the showman's (live) dog trained to take part in the puppet show and to carry a bag around the audience soliciting donations.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Shelta toba (the road).



  1. The superintendent of a street market.
    • 2006, David Eldridge, Market Boy, →ISBN, 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, page 82:
      But every market was reputed to be run the same way. The Toby was the godfather.
    • 2011, Des Thompson, Naive Diamond, →ISBN, 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]