tetchy "easily irritated," 1592, teachie, in "Romeo & Juliet" I.iii.32; of uncertain origin. Perhaps from M.E. tatch "a mark, quality," derived via O.Fr. from V.L. *tecca, from a Germanic source akin to O.E. tacen (see TOKEN (Cf. token)).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • tetchy — tetchy, touchy Tetchy means ‘irritable, peevish’, and is a near synonym of testy, whereas touchy means ‘oversensitive, likely to take offence’ …   Modern English usage

  • Tetchy — Tetch y, a. See {Techy}. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tetchy — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ bad tempered and irritable. DERIVATIVES tetchily adverb tetchiness noun. ORIGIN probably from Scots tache «blotch, fault», from Old French teche …   English terms dictionary

  • tetchy — [tech′ē] adj. tetchier, tetchiest [< LME teche, touchy, prob. < ME, a mark, quality < OFr, spot, mark < VL * tecca < Frank * tekka < * tēkan; akin to OE tacn,TOKEN] touchy; irritable; peevish tetchily adv. tetchiness n …   English World dictionary

  • tetchy — [[t]te̱tʃi[/t]] tetchier, tetchiest ADJ GRADED If you say that someone is tetchy, you mean they are bad tempered and likely to get angry suddenly without an obvious reason. [mainly BRIT, INFORMAL] You always get tetchy when you re hungry... He… …   English dictionary

  • tetchy — UK [ˈtetʃɪ] / US adjective Word forms tetchy : adjective tetchy comparative tetchier superlative tetchiest old fashioned easily annoyed and likely to get angry quickly Derived words: tetchily adverb tetchiness noun uncountable …   English dictionary

  • tetchy — adjective (tetchier; est) Etymology: perhaps from obsolete tetch habit Date: 1592 irritably or peevishly sensitive ; touchy < the tetchy manner of two women living in the same house Elizabeth Taylor †1975 > • tetchily adverb • tetchiness noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tetchy — tetch|y [ˈtetʃi] adj BrE informal likely to get angry or upset easily ▪ Jane s a bit tetchy this morning. >tetchily adv >tetchiness n [U] …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tetchy — adjective likely to get angry or upset easily: Jane s a bit tetchy this morning, watch what you say to her. tetchily adverb tetchiness noun (U) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • tetchy — tetchily, adv. tetchiness, n. /tech ee/, adj. tetchier, tetchiest. irritable; touchy. Also, techy. [1585 95; orig. uncert.; cf. TETCHED, Y1] * * * …   Universalium

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