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Clipping of grotesque + -y. Doublet of grody, the American equivalent. Compare Middle English groti, grooti (“slimy, muddy”), from Old English grotiġ (“earthy, dirty”) (modern dialectal English groaty, Scots grotty), which is equivalent to groat + -y. Compare also Scottish Gaelic grod (“rotten, lousy, terrible”), Middle Irish grot (“bitter, sour”).
Originated or popularised by the 1964 film A Hard Day's Night, starring the Beatles and written by Alun Owen.
grotty (comparative grottier, superlative grottiest)
- (slang, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) Unpleasant, dirty, slovenly or offensive.
- 1964, Alun Owen, A Hard Day's Night:
- George: I wouldn't be seen dead in them. They're dead grotty.
George: Yeah, grotesque.
grotty (comparative grottier or more grotty, superlative grottiest or most grotty)
- Alternative form of groaty