Definitions

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

  • n. Chiefly British Slang A member of the upper classes, especially one who is elegantly dressed: "champagne, once a raffish drink suitable for toffs and weddings” ( Ian Jack).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An elegantly dressed person.
  • n. A person of the upper class- or high-class-pretence who usually communicates an air of superiority.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fop; a beau; a swell.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dandy; a fop; a swell.

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

  • n. informal term for an upper-class or wealthy person

Etymologies

Probably variant of tuft, a gold tassel worn by titled students at Oxford and Cambridge.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • And the idea that describing someone as a "toff" is enough to dismiss their views is pretty silly.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • That's wot you are, a bloomin 'toff! the Virgin howled back as he shut the door.

    CHAPTER 20

  • Not only does he score well on that front in opinion polls, but he's also emerged unscathed from fromthe few "toff" - based attacks that the Government has launched.

    Is bare-knuckle politics the way forward for Labour?

  • He's what the Brits call a "toff" -- a product of the upper class.

    CNN Transcript Jul 20, 2008

  • The goofball "conservative with a heart of gold" Prime Minister of Britain is what the brits call a toff, which sounds like toffee, but really translates more accurately into rich, inbred bastard.

    Progressive Bloggers

  • I wonder if this so-called toff is poorer than Blair who (of course) still has a 1930's marxist, left-wing socialist personna.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • The Labour left hate the Upper Classes and an old Etonian, sitting for the seat of Henley with a middle name of de Pfeffel who looks and sounds like a toff will be a target for all the bile they can produce.

    Boris "bigged up" by the BBC

  • It's not unthinkable that Britain's most under-privileged people might bristle at the sight of a titled toff practicing the art of noblesse oblige.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • He replied "Calling Beckham a toff is a bit harsh."

    The Guardian World News

  • Marr is the kind of toff who loves to swan around with an education showing off his store-bought social status and is not a hard working, working class worker like Alistair Darling.

    Tony Blair: The Next Labour Prime Minister?

Comments

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  • Me and the Major are from different worlds, but if
    I get stuck in the lift it's always with a toff
    Me and the Major are from different worlds, but if
    I get stuck in the lift it's always with a man
    Of noble standing who looks down on me like I was never born.


    (Me and the Major, by Belle and Sebastian)

    April 27, 2009

  • "In Cardiff, Chris and Matt are sat in a boat on the river.
    'One does find it hard
    if one is treated with such disregard,'
    complains Chris.
    'Stuff that!' moans Matt.
    The toff and the tough have a tiff on the Taff."

    (John Hegley)

    August 30, 2008

  • Anthony, bullied at school
    Get your own back now you are cool
    Or are you scared bunking off though you're a toff
    It's all gone wrong again, you've got Double Math.


    (Lord Anthony, by Belle and Sebastian)

    August 30, 2008

  • No, no, it doesn't have to be "edifying"! (HA!! Wait till you see some of the links on this site... You'll definitely want to keep your sense of humor.) I sensed you were appalled by the site, and thought that I might be as well. So if it's shocking, not for the faint of heart, or controversial, it might be good to mention that when you (very helpfully) post the URL or link on a word page. Just a friendly suggestion!

    Thanks for clarifying. I appreciate it.

    August 9, 2008

  • To me, words add to the joy of life. I believe language should tend to elevate the speaker and the listener. When I saw "toff" and did some Googleing, I came across some negative concepts about class structure in England. Not being familiar with the topic, I was appalled to see the site I am referring to. Must a word edify to be discussed here? I love all you wordsmiths and wordies out there! It is a joy to be here. I am a newbie to this site.

    August 9, 2008

  • Logos? After your first statement, I'm thinking I might not want to visit that site. Can you explain a bit more about what's on there, and why the link might be useful for wordies eager for knowledge?

    August 9, 2008

  • A word that reveals deep class hatred. Go to www.toffscum.com.

    August 9, 2008

  • In Grafton street Master Dignam saw a red flower in a toff's mouth and a swell pair of kicks on him and he listening to what the drunk was telling him and grinning all the time.
    Joyce, Ulysses, 10

    January 7, 2007