goody two-shoes(redirected from a goody two shoes)
1. adjective (used as a modifier before a noun) Of or having prudish, self-righteous and/or rigidly moral standards. Many have been critical of the agency as being nothing but a goody two-shoes organization more concerned with telling people how to behave than serving their best interests.
2. An exceedingly and/or haughtily prudish, self-righteous, or rigidly moral person; someone who conforms inflexibly to the rules or the law. Mary is such a goody-two shoes, always squealing to the teacher when one of us does something against the rules. Our gang would have control of half the city if that goody two-shoes hadn't somehow gotten himself elected governor.
A prudish, self-righteous individual, a goody-goody. For example, Phyllis was a real goody two-shoes, tattling on her friends to the teacher. This expression alludes to the main character of a nursery tale, The History of Goody Two-Shoes (1765), who was so pleased when receiving a second shoe that she kept saying "Two shoes." The goody in the story is short for goodwife but means "goody-goody" in the idiom.
a goody two-shoesINFORMAL
A goody two-shoes is someone who tries to please someone in authority or who never does anything wrong. No child wants to be a goody two-shoes, and this is one way for them to demonstrate that they're not. Note: This expression is used to show disapproval.
n. someone who tries to behave better than anyone else. (Also a term of address.) I’m no goody two-shoes. I just like to keep my nose clean.
A self-righteous, vain person. The 18th-century children's story, The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, attributed to Oliver Goldsmith, was a version of Cinderella. The title character, named after an already-established phrase, was an orphan who was so poor, she owned only one shoe. When a rich benefactor gave her a complete set of footwear, she repeated her delighted in having “two shoes.” The phrase “Goody Two-Shoes” developed its negative connotation because the girl subsequently married into money, which cast suspicion on her virtuous nature.