Tippy meaning

tĭpē
Frequency:
1845, “The Frog and the Fox", in The New Monthly Magazine and Humorist, London: Henry Colburn, p 371.

As neither of them said “No," he opened the will, and found that the old lady had left all the accumulated scrapings of a long life of industry to her son William, to aid his “great abilities" in promoting the honour of the family. [. . .] “That'll do, Smugs," said Bill, and then turning to his brothers, he observed. “Just the tippy, for I was cleaned out. [. . .]"

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(colloquial or slang) Clever, neat, smart.
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Of tea, having a large amount of tips, or leaf buds.
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(obsolete, colloquial or slang) A dandy.
noun
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(Canada, US) Tending to tip or tilt over; unstable.
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Likely to tip or tilt.

A tippy racing shell; a tippy card table.

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(informal) That tips easily; not steady; shaky.
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1806, The Port Folio, v 2, Philadelphia: John Watts, p 143.

The wig's the thing, the wig, the wig, / Be of the ton a natty sprig, / The thing, the tippy and the twig, / Nor heed who are the truly wise, / For after all, in vulgar eyes, / The wisdom's in the wig.

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1808, Thomas Morton, “A Cure for the Heart Ache", in The British Theatre; or, A Collection of Plays, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, p 10.

Rent! you boor!"”That, for Sir Hubert!"”[Snapping his Fingers.] Ah! Nabob's servants be the tippy"”Every thing be done by them so genteely.

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Origin of tippy

  • 1790, tip (“apex") +"Ž -y. Sense of “clever" may be influenced by tip (“n., inside information").

    From Wiktionary

  • 1886, tip (“knock over") +"Ž -y.

    From Wiktionary