An example of topsy-turvy is when you had carefully-made plans and they got messed up at the last minute and everyone is running every which way with no idea where to go.
- upside down; in a reversed condition
- in confusion or disorder
Origin of topsy-turvyearlier topsy-tervy, probably from top, highest part + Middle English terven, to roll
- a topsy-turvy condition; inverted state
- a state of confusion
- With the top downward and the bottom up; upside-down.
- In or into a state of utter disorder or confusion: “turning our ordered life topsy-turvy” ( Anne Tyler )
- Turned or positioned upside down; inverted.
- Confused or disordered.
Origin of topsy-turvyProbably from top 1obsolete terve to overturn ( from Middle English terven )
(comparative topsy-turvier, superlative topsy-turviest)
(comparative more topsy-turvy, superlative most topsy-turvy)
Earlier topside-turvey, topsy-tervy; probably for top so turvy; that is, the top as turvy, as it were turvy, where turvy probably means "overturned", from Anglo-Saxon torfian to throw.
(comparative more topsy turvy, superlative most topsy turvy)
- (idiomatic) Alternative spelling of topsy-turvy.