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Etymology 1[edit]

From a shortening of toadeater +‎ -y.


toady (plural toadies)

  1. A sycophant who flatters others to gain personal advantage, or an obsequious lackey or minion.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:sycophant
    • 1827, [Walter Scott], chapter XI, in Chronicles of the Canongate; [], volume II (The Surgeon’s Daughter), Edinburgh: [] [Ballantyne and Co.] for Cadell and Co.; London: Simpkin and Marshall, OCLC 230674472, pages 276–277:
      "But who is she, can you tell me?" / "Some fair-skinned speculation of old Montreville's, I suppose, that she has got either to toady herself, or take in some of her black friends with.—Is it possible you have never heard of old Mother Montreville?"
    • 1860 December – 1861 August, Charles Dickens, chapter XI, in Great Expectations [], volume I, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published October 1861, OCLC 3359935, pages 168–169:
      Before I had been standing at the window five minutes, they somehow conveyed to me that they were all toadies and humbugs, but that each of them pretended not to know that the others were toadies and humbugs: because the admission that he or she did know it, would have made him or her out to be a toady and a humbug.
    • 1901, John Gibson Lockhart, Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart, volume 1, page 569:
      [T]he appearance of only three coaches, each drawn by four horses, was rather trying for poor Lady Scott. They contained Mrs Coutts – her future lord the Duke of St Albans – one of his Grace's sisters – a dame de compagnie (vulgarly styled a Toady)
    • 1912, Stratemeyer Syndicate, chapter 1, in Baseball Joe on the School Nine:
      "Go on, Hiram, show 'em what you can do," urged Luke Fodick, who was a sort of toady to Hiram Shell, the school bully, if ever there was one.
    • 1929 September, Virginia Woolf, chapter IV, in A Room of One’s Own, uniform edition, London: Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, [], published 1931 (April 1935 printing), OCLC 912778461, page 90:
      But how could she have helped herself? I asked, imagining the sneers and the laughter, the adulation of the toadies, the scepticism of the professional poet.
  2. (archaic) A coarse, rustic woman.
Derived terms[edit]


toady (third-person singular simple present toadies, present participle toadying, simple past and past participle toadied)

  1. (intransitive, construed with to) To behave like a toady (to someone).

Etymology 2[edit]

toad +‎ -y


toady (comparative more toady, superlative most toady)

  1. toadlike
    • 1874, Transactions (issue 19, page 141)
      The bath is of greatest advantage in these chronic cases, with an earthy complexion and toady skin, if I am allowed thus to express its appearance.