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Hoity-toity

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(1) Hoity-toity spirits means high spirits, extremely elated and flighty. Selden, in his Table Talk, says: “In Queen Elizabeth’s time gravity and state were kept up … but in King Charles’s time there was nothing but Frenchmore [French manners] … tolly-polly, and hoit-comme-toit,” where hoit comme toit means flightness.

(2) As an exclamation of reproof it means, Your imagination or spirits are running out of all bounds; hoit-a-toit! hity-tity! “Hoity-toity! What have I to do with dreams?” (Congreve.)

We have the verb “to hoit” = to assume; to be elated in spirits, and perhaps hoity-toity is only one of those words with which our language abounds; as, harum-scarum, titty-totty, namby-pamby, hugger-mugger, fiddle-faddle, and scores of others.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Hog
Hogs-Norton
Hog in Armour
Hogg
Hogarth (William)
Hogen Mogen
Hogmanay, Hogmena, or Hagmena
Hogshead
Hoi Polloi (The)
Hoist
Hoity-toity
Hoky or Hockey Cake
Holborn
Hold
Hold
Hold Forth (To)
Hold Hard
Hold In (To)
Hold Off!
Hold On
Hold Out