from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Irritated, impatient, or exasperated; peevish: a testy cab driver; a testy refusal to help.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Easily annoyed, irritable.
  • adj. Marked by impatience or ill humor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Fretful; peevish; petulant; easily irritated.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Irritable; irascible; choleric; cross; petulant.
  • Synonyms Pettish, touchy, waspish, snappish, peevish, splenetic, captious, peppery.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. easily irritated or annoyed


Alteration of Middle English testif, headstrong, from Old French testu, from teste, head, from Late Latin testa, skull; see teston.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English testif ("headstrong"), from Old French testu, from teste ("head") + -u. Compare modern French tête ("head"), têtu ("stubborn"). (Wiktionary)



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  • *unless you're trying an expeeryment.

    October 5, 2007

  • Never enter uselessness' Land of Madeupical Science without a map.

    October 5, 2007

  • It's science!!

    October 5, 2007

  • That'll learn me. Never enter uselessness' Land of Madeupical Etymologies without a map.

    October 5, 2007

  • On the contrary, there's a proven correlation. Science said it, history proved it, and I vouched for it. The connection is so real, etymology doesn't know about it yet. But it's pretty much indisputable fact amongst educated people. Some groups have even organized their own religions around this unwavering truth. You bet your buttons, you can totally bank on it.

    October 5, 2007

  • Don't think so, arby, though I'm not positive. I think testy is from the Latin (and later, Italian and French) for "head"--so "headstrong," more or less.

    There's an interesting word history for testis here.

    October 4, 2007

  • D'you suppose this is related to testes? (cf. testicular and the brilliant testiculate)

    October 4, 2007