goody two-shoes(redirected from a goody-two-shoes)
1. adjective (used as a modifier before a noun) Of or having prudish, self-righteous, 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 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A self-righteous, smugly virtuous person. The term comes from the title and main character of a nursery tale, The History of Goody Two-Shoes (1765), believed to have been written by Oliver Goldsmith. She owned but a single shoe, and when she was given a pair of shoes she was so delighted that she showed them to everyone, saying, “Two shoes.” Today the term is often shortened to goody-goody, as in “She’s a real goody-goody, always playing up to her boss.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price