toff

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.
Particularly: “(Anglo-Saxon) 'Toforan' meaning 'superiority' (suggested derivation).?”

Noun[edit]

toff (plural toffs)

  1. (obsolete) An elegantly dressed person.
  2. (UK) A person of the upper class- or high-class-pretence who usually communicates an air of superiority.
    • 1972, New Scientist, Vol. 55, No. 812, "A groundling's notebook" by Donald Gould
      I came home first class — up the front end with the toffs — semi-anaesthetised throughout the trip by caviar and free champagne — and to hell with frugality and the conservation of resources.
    • 1998, The Billboard, April 11th issue, page 34, Paul McCartney's remark on the right margin:
      George Martin always seemed to me to be a "toff" and a gentleman even though his roots, like many of us, were in the common people. George has a touch of class that is quite impressive.
    • 2012, How the Dice Fell, by John Roberts, page 186
      I like to see the toffs being toffs. The women all glammed up, the blokes in their tails and top 'ats, all braying and flinging their money around. Confirms all my prejudices. Just a reminder of who my enemies are.

Usage notes[edit]

Commonly used in the UK with a negative connotation.

Translations[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • toff” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).