tommyrot (noun) tämēˌrät

Slang or vernacular and primarily British English

Nonsense, rubbish, foolishness or silliness, etc.,  according to just about any dictionary

This term appears to be a combination of 'tommy' and 'rot'.

'Tom' and 'tommy' have long used to refer to a foolish man, as in 'tomfool' and 'tomfoolery'. 'Rot' conveys in straightforward manner a thing that has rotted or become useless and thus meaningless, as does the related word 'rubbish'. These senses are most closely associated with British usage.

The first known use of tommyrot is reported to have been in 1884. The Google word occurrence statistics for tommyrot and some of its close synonyms shows an onset just before 1900, a peak between 1920 and 1945 or so and a decline since then, but with a surprising upsurge a few years into this century. Tommyrot has soundly outdone codswallop as a preferred term, but has not competed well with poppycock and is being clearly over-run by malarkey. However, these are all entirely insignificant in usage compared with the term rubbish.

Examples of use:

"no genuinely intelligent and educated person would believe such tommyrot";

Tommie Watson's Tommyrot


  1. "Veriest tommyrot, sir; veriest tommyrot, and with no grounds for its repetition."  The Technical World Magazine (1909)
  2. "Every time we hear this kind of sentimental tommyrot uttered and applauded we ... Why indulge in "sentimental tommyrot" about human liberty when Germany is ..." The War from this Side: Editorials from the North American (1917)
  3. "... this here bizness about college tradition and precedent is all tommyrot, an' what's more, its blame expensive tommyrot. ..." The Cornell Era (1901)
  4. "All this is tommyrot and pure imagination." The Living Age by Making of America Project (1922)


babble, balderdash, baloney, bilgewater, blather, bosh, bunk, codswallop, dupery, fiddle-faddle, fiddlesticks, flapdoodle, folderol, hokum, gobbledegook, guff, hogwash, hooey, malarkey, poppycock, rigamarole, rubbish, taradiddle, tommycod, tosh, twaddle


Scrabble value: 13, 14, 15 or 16 points, depending on who you ask.