One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A rich or upper-class person.
fop, beau, man about town, bright young thing, glamour boy, rakeView synonyms
- ‘Leaving aside terrier men, for whom the label ‘lower class’ might have been invented, the field and its followers included only a tiny handful of people who could fairly be described as toffs.’
- ‘Yet by the time he got to the track, old money had been scared away by new money and the sport was a far cry from the old days when the people who raced cars were toffs, and so were those who went to watch.’
- ‘Reports suggest some southern toffs plan to stay at home rather than venture north of Watford, scared by tales of chilly climes, cloth caps and whippets.’
- ‘Grand ambition: to meet a rich toff and get married’
- ‘Back in the real world, Oxford is not just the turf of toffs and boffs: it was a major car-manufacturing centre until the terminal decline of the British car industry and is now a thriving centre of service industries.’
- ‘Tatton in Cheshire came top, and it is amusing to learn that certain Sheffield residents are better off than the toffs from Kensington and Chelsea.’
- ‘But the countryside marchers were not toffs - they were real people, hard working people, genuine people.’
- ‘And even in London, plenty of young toffs would have been wearing dinner jackets.’
- ‘‘Well, I keep on reading that the toffs and the working classes get on well together,’ he says.’
- ‘We were stationed in Henley-on-Thames, a beautiful riverside town best known for its annual Regatta and the huge brawls between toffs, tourists and anarchists on Henley Bridge which marked the start of the boat racing.’
- ‘It's often perceived as an aristocratic indulgence, a sport for toffs and the idle rich.’
- ‘A ban won't just affect a few toffs and their rich country chums.’
- ‘I'm here to show them that they have got it all wrong and that we are not all titled toffs.’
- ‘Turn back the clocks a few months and we were worrying about traffic congestion, or calculating how to make a fast buck at the expense of well-off southern toffs.’
- ‘You may see it as arrogant toffs showing off; but I see the English country house and its surrounding parkland as one of the great wonders of the world.’
- ‘People who don't play cricket perceive it as a toffs' game, even at a centre of toffs like Cambridge’
- ‘Maybe toffs aren't offensive as long as they're scruffy?’
- ‘A generation of rich and eccentric toffs with more money than sense block out what's happening in the world by immersing themselves in one party after another.’
- ‘By making this pair of public school boys the figureheads of the pro-hunt lobby, the media is reinforcing the view that hunt supporters are toffs clinging to the last of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy.’
- ‘South Swindon people have a lot more in common with the fox than they do with toffs on horseback.’
Mid 19th century: perhaps an alteration of tuft, used to denote a gold tassel worn on the cap by titled undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge.
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