One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Inferior or cheap material, especially as used in suburban building.
- ‘And they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.’
- ‘The number of single-person households is on the rise; we all want our own little boxes made of ticky-tacky.’
(especially of a building or housing development) made of inferior material; cheap or in poor taste.‘ticky-tacky little houses’
- ‘He called Sid about the hundreds of unsold, unrented, slapped-up, ticky-tacky apartments in Greater Belfast.’
1960s: probably a reduplication of tacky.
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