"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Sunday, 20 November 2011


I know the word tottie as a slang expression for a good looking teenage girl,
especially one that is a tease or dressed to look older than she is.

However, when I came across 'totties' in a Thomas Hardy book it was used to mean 'feet' according to the book note on the expression 'me totties be cold'. Perhaps it was a dialect term for feet in the South but the note brought from the deep recesses of my mind a vague remembrance that totties referred to toes here in the North. Any comments on this use of the term would be welcome.


  1. First, let me thank you for this blog. Words are fascinating things and I, like many, often get them wrong.

    Second, here's the definition of "tottie" by the Free Online Dictionary:

    tottie, totty [ˈtɒtɪ]
    Chiefly Scot very small; tiny

    I also found that there is a small hamlet in England named "Totties"
    Wikipedia found that for me.

    I thought "Totty" was my sister's nickname for years until I realized it was "Toddy" (a mangling of "Dotty")

    And I also recall toes as being "totties" and/or "tootsies"

  2. Nah! I have never heard or used this term before.But I like it anyway! Totties:)
    Check this out if you want -
    Right Use of Words
    Getting jumbled with words that look similar?

  3. The Scots pronunciation is different to the English in my experience. "She's a wee tottie thing" would be pronounced "Toetee". Oddly I've usually heard it preceded by wee which would probably be tautological or pleonastic.