This word is derived from the 16th century word "Hoit", which meant "to romp", or "to engage in riotous and noisy mirth". "Hoity-toity" used to be used to describe silly or frivolous behavior, but its usage has changed in recent years to mean "pretentious or self-important."

"She used to be cool, but then she went to university and got all hoity-toity."

Some people will try to tell you that this word is derived from the French term haut toit, meaning "high roof". These people will also be wrong. This word has nothing to do with French, so if anyone tries to convince you that it does, tell them to go eat some crepes and shut the hell up.

'Hoity-toity' seems to be a very popular word to use in the south, and by the British. I've no idea why this is.

'Hoity Toity' is also a board game, designed by Klaus Teuber and manufactured by Uberplay Games. The object of the game is to become the most distinguished member of an antique club by collecting the most valuable assortment of antiques. It costs $34.95, is for 3-6 players aged 8 and up, and takes about an hour to play.

As a final note, if you go to Google, enter "Hoity-Toity" (with the dash) as your search term, and then click "I'm Feeling Lucky", you are brought to a webpage devoted to selling and breeding Persian cats.

Source: http://www.snopes.com/language/foreign/hoity.asp

Hoi"ty-toi`ty (?), a. [From Hoit.]

Thoughtless; giddy; flighty; also, haughty; patronizing; as, to be in hoity-toity spirits, or to assume hoity-toity airs; used also as an exclamation, denoting surprise or disapprobation, with some degree of contempt.

Hoity-toity! What have I to do with dreams? Congreve.

 

© Webster 1913.

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