Posted by TheFallen on December 11, 2004
In Reply to: Toodle-oo posted by allan90069 on December 11, 2004
: This is how the Oxford Slang dictionary spells it. They also say it's of unknown origin. Does anyone else think it may be a bastardization of the french "a toute a l'heure" meaning "see you soon?" The two phrases sound very very similar.
I quite like that theory, as it sounds plausible - both expressions being ways of saying goodbye informally. Plenty of language has migrated both ways across the English Channel - the French may hate such obvious Anglicisms as "le weekend", but in the past they've had such things as "le redingote", a short gentleman's jacket (from riding coat) and "le boulingrin", a well-manicured lawn (from bowling green).
The one thing that counts against the "à toute à l'heure" derivation of toodle-oo is that there's a near-identical slang English expression from the same era, "toodle-pip". I'm unsure if this is significant or not.