One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural dickies, Plural dickeysinformal
1A false shirt front.
- ‘He is extremely proud of his Waiter's Union and always dresses well in his one tuxedo and dickey.’
- ‘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?’
- ‘Old white men wielding Martinis and wearing dickies have occupied our nation's capital.’
- ‘He calls Francie his Prima Donna and gets ready in his white dickey and pearl studs for work.’
2dated A folding outside seat at the back of a vehicle.
- 2.1historical A driver's seat in a carriage.
- 2.1historical A driver's seat in a carriage.
3Indian The boot of a car.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Mid 18th century (denoting a petticoat): each sense probably has different origins; perhaps partly from Dicky, pet form of the given name Richard.
(of a part of the body, a structure, or a device) not strong, healthy, or functioning reliably.‘a pianist with a dicky heart’
unsound, unsteady, unreliableView synonyms
- ‘His father, despite a dicky heart, had married a second time, in 1911.’
- ‘Light for me, that is, with my dicky tummy, not overly light for Graham, who does all the hard work around here.’
- ‘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!’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I don't want to see the gorgeous men who adorned the walls of my bedroom with grey hair and dicky hips.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘I have to keep fit anyway, because I've got dicky shoulders and I have to exercise to keep them in line.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘You've had a dicky stomach for the last couple of days.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘So in summation: don't hate me, because though I am usually coolness personified, I do have really dicky moments.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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?’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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).’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Late 18th century (in the sense ‘almost over’): perhaps from the given name Dick, in the old saying as queer as Dick's hatband.
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