Scottish phrase of the day: Fanny Toosh

Unless you're the Queen, wearing one of these may have once marked you out as a Fanny Toosh. Picture: Julie Bull
Unless you're the Queen, wearing one of these may have once marked you out as a Fanny Toosh. Picture: Julie Bull
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FANNY Toosh is Scots for a woman who has ideas above her station; a lady who thinks too much of herself.

Uses of the phrase in Scots literature, popular or otherwise, are few and far between (which is perhaps just as well, since these days it has more than a faint whiff of Victorian sexism about it). It is thought to be an elongated form of “fantoosh”, which describes a flashy, overdressed woman. According to Ian Crofton’s Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable, the term is a close cousin to the Glasgow-specific Teenie fae Troon: a gaudily-attired woman visiting the big city from a smaller town with an air of conceit about her. (Teenie, a colloquial abbreviation of Christina, was generally an unkind catch-all term for a female servant or an effeminite man.)

Fanny Toosh is thought to be an elongated version of fantoosh, an adjective for someone considered flashy or showing off. Fanny Toosh probably evolved as a way of making the phrase a bit more anthropomorphic.

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