Main definitions of dicky in English

: dicky1dicky2

dicky1

(also dickey)

noun

informal
  • 1A false shirt front.

    • ‘He calls Francie his Prima Donna and gets ready in his white dickey and pearl studs for work.’
    • ‘Old white men wielding Martinis and wearing dickies have occupied our nation's capital.’
    • ‘He now wears a diamond stud in the middle of his dickey and uses a pungent variety of macassar oil on his hair.’
    • ‘The ad is illustrated with a picture of a gang of bright young things tearing up that dull routine at a musical soirée - gents in dickies raising their glasses in salute, ladies in Edwardian bows draping themselves around the keyboard.’
    • ‘How come you never see men wearing dickies any more?’
    • ‘He is extremely proud of his Waiter's Union and always dresses well in his one tuxedo and dickey.’
  • 2British dated A folding outside seat at the back of a vehicle.

    1. 2.1historical A driver's seat in a carriage.
  • 3Indian The boot of a car.

    • ‘Will have the latest music system of 1000 MW or more power output and umpteen speakers all over the vehicle, dicky included.’
    • ‘I have to get the dent in the dicky repaired at that time.’
    • ‘There is no STD code, only area code; your car has a hood and trunk and not a bonnet or a boot, or a dickey.’

Origin

Mid 18th century (denoting a petticoat): each sense probably has different origins; perhaps partly from Dicky, pet form of the given name Richard.

Pronunciation:

dicky

/ˈdɪki/

Main definitions of dicky in English

: dicky1dicky2

dicky2

adjective

British
informal
  • (of a part of the body, a structure, or a device) not strong, healthy, or functioning reliably:

    ‘a pianist with a dicky heart’
    • ‘I don't want to see the gorgeous men who adorned the walls of my bedroom with grey hair and dicky hips.’
    • ‘I have to keep fit anyway, because I've got dicky shoulders and I have to exercise to keep them in line.’
    • ‘It would be interesting to know how many other United players have spent the last week wishing they too had a dicky hamstring and such unchallengeable seniority.’
    • ‘I believe that society permits men to become ill provided their condition conforms to accepted stereotypes: the 40 something CEO with a dicky heart, or the younger man with a sports injury.’
    • ‘If I were to wait until some kind of separate road system for cycles is introduced, a dicky heart would have taken me to my grave before I managed to get on my bike.’
    • ‘He is Val, or Uncle Val as he likes to be known, an old man with a generous streak, a dicky heart and a customised Roller.’
    • ‘You've had a dicky stomach for the last couple of days.’
    • ‘His father, despite a dicky heart, had married a second time, in 1911.’
    • ‘After failing a fitness test, Damien Duff has not even made the Chelsea bench; his notoriously dicky hamstrings proving the source of the Irishman's misfortune once again.’
    • ‘My dad was a season-ticket holder at York until three years ago, when his health faded, but I have often thought, wickedly, that even with a dicky ticker he was in better shape than some of the players I have seen.’
    • ‘I was first off the mark as a yellow and black streak of lightning engulfed my lure with a crash that might easily have stopped a dicky heart.’
    • ‘US District Judge John Shabaz last week ruled that Earthlink was not liable for using dicky data from a third party because of provisions in the 1996 Telecommunications Act.’
    • ‘I mean, if you decide you need a motorized runabout because you have a dicky hip or your monstrous bulk is too heavy to haul to Safeway, do you qualify?’
    • ‘Now Warne looks exasperated, McGrath is a drinks waiter with a dicky elbow and dodgy ankle and the Australian cheerleaders have mislaid their pom-poms.’
    • ‘So in summation: don't hate me, because though I am usually coolness personified, I do have really dicky moments.’
    • ‘Andy, because of his dicky heart was excused, and was put in charge of liberating different coloured pens from the heavily guarded stock cupboard to make the graph more interesting.’
    • ‘Yes, I know I devoted a whole entry to ‘how I had a dicky tummy and went home’ yesterday, but I'm not trying to make money out of this.’
    • ‘Light for me, that is, with my dicky tummy, not overly light for Graham, who does all the hard work around here.’
    • ‘Struggled into work and spent the entire day trying not to fall asleep at my desk (I managed to get some shut-eye in the loos though - feigning a dicky tummy and doing my best to look pale, which wasn't too difficult).’
    • ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my time, but as my legs get a bit dicky I am certainly not going to miss pounding up and down that High Street in all weathers!’
    unsound, unsteady, unreliable
    weak, frail, infirm, unhealthy, ailing, poorly, sickly, sick
    shaky, fluttery, fluttering, trembling
    iffy
    dodgy
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 18th century (in the sense ‘almost over’): perhaps from the given name Dick, in the old saying as queer as Dick's hatband.

Pronunciation:

dicky

/ˈdɪki/