In praise of tickety-boo


threemeninaboat

Now there’s a word, or rather two words, that one doesn’t hear very often – well certainly I haven’t heard it for ages, you may not have heard it at all.

Tickety-boo has a nice ring to it, “life is all tickety-boo” and that sort of thing. For those of you who are not au fait with words in the English language assimilated from our time as colonists (yes, we even stole language) tickety-boo is one such example of plundering foreigners taking what is not theirs. The exact etymology of tickety-boo is unclear and even the venerable Oxford English Dictionary does not give us a definitive answer alluding to, though not confirming, Indian origins, probably deriving from the Hindi, “thik hai” or “it’s okay.”

A favourite of old Bertie Wooster and the toffs of Wodehouse world, tickety-boo harks us back to the days of ludicrous antics, unintelligent, inbred aristocrats who had their lives run by the lower classes, who were commonly in possession of more grey matter and sensibility than their upstairs counterparts. Of three men meandering up the Thames in a boat with a dog, boaters – a glorified pub crawl. Of simpler times, motoring instead of driving, locomotives instead of bullet trains, the Royal Mail instead of electronic mail.

It is a happy word. At least that’s my opinion. It doesn’t have an e or an i in front of it and it is not used often, almost forgotten by time.

Almost…

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