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Alternative forms[edit]


19th century UK. Unknown etymology. Farmer (1903) categorises the term as costermongers' slang.



rorty (comparative rortier, superlative rortiest)

  1. (Britain, informal) Boisterous, rowdy, saucy, dissipated, or risqué.
    • 1898, Hichens, Robert Smythe, The Londoners, page 280:
      "Tell us a good story, Rodney — one of your rorty ones." / Mr. Rodney shrivelled. / "I fear," he murmured — "I fear I am scarcely in the — er — rorty vein to-night."
    • 1932, Gibbons, Stella, Cold Comfort Farm:
      But compared with the heavy, muffling darkness of the night in which the countryside was sunk, the lights looked positively rorty
    • 2007 May 31, “Lotus 2-Eleven - Road Test First Drive”, in Autocar:
      Any speed any gear it doesn't matter. The 2Eleven's got an enormous powerband huge performance and the rortiest exhaust I've heard in an Elise-based car
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:rorty.

Derived terms[edit]