- The definition of a toady is a person who is a kiss-up or overly flatters someone believed to be important.
A person who is always bringing in gifts for his boss and acting overly solicitous to the boss is an example of a toady.
Origin of toadyshort for toadeater, quack doctor's assistant who pretended to eat toads (thought to be poisonous) to show the efficacy of quack medicines
tr. & intr.v.toad·ied, toad·y·ing, toad·ies
Origin of toadyFrom toad. Word History: The first toadies were actually toad-eaters. The word toady has its origins in the practices of seventeenth-century quacks and charlatans who claimed that they could draw out poisons from poisoning victims. Toads were thought to be poisonous, and so these quacks would have an attendant eat—or pretend to eat—a toad. The quacks could then make a show of drawing out the poison and saving their helpers' lives. Since eating a toad is an unpleasant job, these attendants came to epitomize the type of person who would do anything for a superior, and toadeater became the name for a flattering, fawning parasite. In the eighteenth century, the noun toadeating meaning “sycophancy, flattery,” appeared, and there was even a verb to toadeat, meaning “to flatter, fawn upon.” For example, the correspondence of Caroline Fox, Lady Holland (1723–1774), contains the following comment in a letter to her sister, the Duchess of Leinster: She [a family member] has told Lord Holland all the privileges the old Duchess expects. He says you have them all already, you are so toad-eated. Later, in the nineteenth century, the word toady, “sycophant, flatterer,” came into use, and it was apparently formed directly from the word toad rather than shortened from toadeater.
(third-person singular simple present toadies, present participle toadying, simple past and past participle toadied)
- (intransitive, construed with to) To behave like a toady (to someone).
- today, to-day
Shortened from toadeater.