Friday, 6 April 2007

Tut or toot

I use a word meaning rubbish. I wanted to use it the other day but wasn't sure about spelling. Is it tut or toot, or something different.

Having spent seven hours googling it, I have discovered I must be the only person who uses this word.

Any ideas anyone? And do you have a weblink that has the answer?

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Alex also used the word, he uses 'tut' - when we go to craft fairs or somewhere like that, its apparently full of 'tut'!
Jo
x

Ann said...

I think it's toot. I've found 'load of toot' used in context. Still haven't found a reference site. Think I'll submit it to the OED.

Anonymous said...

http://cosmicvariance.com/2005/11/18/tut-tutting-at-tut-tat/

Look at bottom paragraph of this article, the use of the phrase 'tut-tat', maybe it comes from that?
x

Anonymous said...

Am definetly going with 'tut' as in 'tut tat'on this one, and yes I think submission to OED is great idea.
Jo x

Ann said...

Found te cosmic variance thing but think that refers to King Tut tat, as in King Tut cheap souvenirs. There are more references that use toot, but still if it's not in the OED maybe I can ensure it is forever recorded as "tut (also toot)"

Sarah Snell-Pym said...

I was looking for the spelling too after having a long drawn out conversation with my husband about it tut would imply tutting to me which is a different sound but he thinks it's just a colloquialism from a different bit of the country.

Tut-tat seems to work though as both are words I associate with bric-a-bac and rubbish.

Clare Butler said...

Definitely toot (if anyone is still reading). I think it has to be connected with tot - a bone or anything retrieved from a dustbin or rubbish heap, hence totter, a rag and bone man or scrap dealer, and totting, searching refuse for re-usable or saleable items.

Ann Cardus said...

I'm still reading Claire and I hadn't come across the bone definition - sounds like a good explanation.

Anonymous said...

I use this word too Ann; my grandfather used to use it and also my mother. So it's been used in our family for at least a century.
I use toot (it represents better the way I say the word rather than tut) and I am most persuaded by the last comment.

Michelle said...

All these years since this post was written and here I come in search of the spelling. I say it to rhyme with 'put' so I suppose 'tut' would be okay. On the other hand 'tut' just looks wrong so I want to type 'toot' but what if people read it to themselves as the noise a horn makes. Think I'll just write 'tat' instead.

Nicola said...

Yep another year on and now im looking so we're still no closer..think i'll also go with tat

Melanie said...

My family have always used this word, eg. a pile of old toot. Toot said as if rhyming with "put"

Jac Steine said...

Hello, I've been using tut/toot (rhyming with 'put') all my life and only a few years ago discovered most people I know don't know it. It is frequently used in Essex where I'm from and going by people I know who do know it, I think it could be of East London/Cockney origin and had pread out. It came up for me yesterday as some friends were saying I must mean 'tat' but it has a different meaning! Where are you toot users from? I think Claire Butler's explanation is highly plausible - the best I've come across.

Michelle said...

Hi Jac,
I grew up in Milton Keynes but think I may have gotten it from an Aunt who lived in Stanford-le-hope, Essex. She lived in the area for YEARS so I can only imagine that's where she got it from.

Cate Toward said...

Lol,just found this, strangely I was just going to post on FB but didn't know how it was spelt. I've lived in Stanford-le-Hope for 37 years, but my ma-in-law was from south London, she always called ornaments 'toot'pronounced the put way. I'm none the wiser about the spelling, but it was a fun read ��

Carole Kimber said...

I have also used this word and I am from Essex ! and so have my parents , but have never heard anyone else use it

Whistlejacket said...

I'm an Eastender, my dad's an Eastender and we've always used this word to describe cheap, poor quality stuff, like "that shop sells a load of old..." not actual waste/rubbish. The question of how to spell it correctly is a mystery to me though, it's not a word I've had call to write down, even though I use it in conversation with frequency and have passed it on to my non Eastender daughters. I've just assumed it had Yiddish roots like a lot of Eastend slang. It definitely rhymes with put, as in "put that down..."

Anonymous said...

I've always used the word. family originally from the East-end but now Essex, so think the word must come from the East-end. Means cheap, poor quality stuff. Like the idea it comes from tot. As we say it, it rhymes with put.

Ray said...

I'm from Brighton and (to my certain knowledge) my family have used the word 'tut' (rhymes with foot) for at least four generations. My grandmother (from Woolwich) wouldn't let me buy anything from the 'tut shops' on Brighton seafront in the late 1950s and early sixties.

Anonymous said...

Trying to write a scathing review on amazon lol. I'm from rural Buckingham (Candleford) and my family (mother from just over the border in rural Oxfordshire (very near Lark Rise) and father from 'Ammersmiff in Lundun) have always said "load of old cheap tat", but then my ex-wife from South Ruislip says "tut" (like put) but this spelling reads like I'm tutting disapprovingly at something and then 'toot' reads like I tooting me 'orn at an idiot driver!?! So I'm going with 'cheap tat' instead, but verbally I now prefer to use tut or toot. What a quandary!

Anonymous said...

I'd never heard the word "tut"/"toot" (unlike "tat") until I moved from Bedford to Kent in 1999. I'm guessing it arrived in the London overspill estates in the 50s and 60s.

I work for a gift company and find I use both tut/toot and tat, to me "tat" is cheap tacky stuff, usually plastic, which has no real purpose but the quality is OK for the price. Whereas "toot" refers to poor quality goods - "don't send that out to the customer, it's a load of old toot". It could just be me that gives them separate meanings though.

I've also heard the word "tack" used instead of "tat" - from "tacky" perhaps? But it also refers to horse "tackle".

vicarage said...

Toot (rhymes with put) is the junk that accumulates in your life, its unwanted, but not poor quality, so different from tat. I got it from my Mum, born in Ilford in the late 20s so East End/Essex. You'd never buy toot from a shop, it can only become it in your house.

BillBoy said...

This word definitely travelled along the Thames from South and East London. My mum (Waltham Abbey) and dad (City roots In N London) both use it. Still would love to hear the origin, it is going to be one of the immigrant languages though.

JMO Stevens said...

Billboy I'm pretty convinced by an origin identified several times earlier in the thread - from a dictionary of Cockney English. It's from 'totters' - people who went through rubbish tips, original looking for bones and anything worth anything. What they collected was called 'tot'. Distant origin thought to be German for dead (bones!): tot. It's pronounced same as we pronounce toot. I love using the word toot -typically to refer to all the stuff in my car. Was only about last year that I discovered about 90% of people I know don't know it.

Soosie K said...

I had the same quandary today, moving house, and wanted to frustrate on FB about the accumulation of stuff and couldn't work out how to spell toot! Now I know - Toot it is and toot it will always be.