Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Tickety-boo

tickety-boo [tik-i-tee-boo]
(informal, dated British )
1a In good order; fine
1a as it should be; correct; satisfactory


"The check-in procedure was just tickety-boo, everybody just slid right through." (Busy travel day ahead at Pearson Airport in Toronto as March break begins, Management Today, 2019)

Crowley: Are you alright?
Aziraphale: Perfectly, yes. Uh, tip-top. Absolutely tickety-boo. (Good Omens, Series 1 Episode 2)

So it's all tickety-boo, right? Well, not if you believe Centrica's chief executive Sam Laidlaw, who said that profits margins per household were actually down, year-on-year, and that the company had made just £50 profit per household in the 12-month period. (Cold weather means red hot profits for British Gas owner Centrica, Management Today, 2013)


We can’t be sure what its origin is. Eric Partridge always contended that the word was forces’ slang, most probably from the Royal Air Force, and that it dates from the early 1920s or thereabouts (though the Oxford English Dictionary doesn’t find a written example before 1939). The difficult bit is taking the word back any further than the 1920s. It could combine that’s the ticket - with much the same sense — with the childish phrase peek-a-boo. But some find a link with the British Army in India, suggesting it comes from the Hindi phrase tikai babu, which is translated as "it's all right, sir". (World Wide Words)

1930s perhaps from Hindi ṭhīk hai 'all right'. (Lexico)

Tags: adjective, british, indian, slang, t, wordsmith: sallymn

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