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The meaning and origin of the expression: Toodle-pip


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Toodle-pip'?

A colloquial version of 'goodbye', now rather archaic.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Toodle-pip'?

The British term 'toodle-pip' is a combination of toodle-oo and 'pip-pip - which all mean the same thing. There are several variants of combinations of these expressions 'tootle-oo', 'toodle-doo', 'tootle-pip' and so on.

All of these expressions are considered archetypally English, although you would be hard pressed to find anyone in England now using them. Toodle-oo and pip-pip were the preserve of a certain upper-class English parlance from the 1920s and 30s - more to be found between the covers of Jeeves and Biggles books than in real life.

It would be reasonable to assume that toodle-pip is of the same vintage. In fact it is much more recent - a harking back to the age of country house weekends rather than a phrase actually used then.

The earliest uses of 'toodle-pip' in print come not from England but Canada and Australia. The earliest I know of is in a letter written by a resident of Vancouver, Canada in the newspaper The Leader Post, June 1935:

It's an old southern custom to never stay too long, so toodle-pip.

By southern I assume the writer meant southern Canada.

Gary Martin - the author of the website.

By Gary Martin

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

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