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Touche or just touchy

Posted by ESC on November 17, 2007

In Reply to: Touche or just touchy posted by pamela on November 17, 2007

: : : What does the phrase "touche or just touchy" mean?

: :
: : Here is an explanation of the meaning of touché from Wikipedia (, which makes the point that it is used figuratively when someone has a good retort for something that has just been said:
: : "In fencing, touché (French: touched) is used as an acknowledgement of a hit, called out by the fencer who is hit. A referee can call out touché (French: touch) to refer to a touch being called - for example, the French call for "no point" is "pas de touche" (French: no touch).

: : The phrase touché is often used in popular culture and general conversation-for example, in an argument or debate. If one person presents an argument and another delivers a clever or apt response, the first person may respond with "touché" as a way of acknowledging a good response. Similarly, there is also a fencing move called a "riposte," which refers to "an offensive action with the intent of hitting one's opponent" and in common lexicon is understood as a quick and witty reply to an argument or an insult.

: : The expression probably comes from the first blood duels, relatively common in the eighteenth century: during the duel touching the opponent with the tip of the sword was sufficient to win; when this would happen the loser would acknowledge the defeat yelling "touched" hence ending the fight."

: : There are only two hits on google for the phrase "touché or just touchy".
: : The first one of these punctuates it as "Touché? Or just touchy?", which seems to explain the meaning: does what someone has just said represent a reply that has hit the mark? Or does the fact that they have retorted just show that they are touchy (i.e. overly sensitive)? Pamela

Then there's touchous (West Virginia and surrounds) or tetchous or tetchy. All meaning overly sensitive.