phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Facebook  Twitter


Posted by ESC on April 19, 2002

In Reply to: Tom Foolery... caution for the uninitiated. posted by TheFallen on April 19, 2002

: : It is also the Cockney rhyming slang for jewellery. Like most rhyming slang it then gets shortened to Tom

: One of those opening statement posts, rather than a question. A word of caution though, for those who might attempt a little Dick Van Dyck if in London. Tomfoolery does indeed mean jewellery, and is often shortened to tom, as in "that's a nice bit of old tom she's got round her neck". However, also shortened to tom is the far less pleasant piece of Cockney rhyming slang, a "tom tit", meaning a bowel movement, except a tad more pithily expressed (excuse the unfortunate phrase). So the moral is, be cautious when in the East End of London.

TOMFOOL - "A clumsy, witless fool, fond of stupid practical jokes. Hence 'tomfoolery.'" From Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).

Comment Form is loading comments...