Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.
1. noun Someone who exclusively follows the rules and caters to authority figures; a teacher's pet. Jill's classmates called her a goody-goody after she volunteered to supervise the class while the teacher was away.
2. adjective Self-righteous or sanctimonious. Forget your goody-goody rules and go out on a school night for once!
An expression of happiness or delight, typically from a child. "Goody, goody gumdrops" can also be used. We're going to the beach for the day? Goody gumdrops! Goody, goody gumdrops—Papa brought me a treat!
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.
a goody ˈtwo-shoes(informal, disapproving) a person who behaves very well to please people in authority such as parents or teachers: Don’t be such a goody-goody! ♢ He’s a real goody two-shoes. He’d never do anything that might get him into trouble.
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, 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.”
An expression of delight. “Goody gumdrops” and “Goody, goody gumdrops” were popularized in Carl Ed's 1930s Harold Teen cartoon strip, although whether Ed originated the phrases is unclear. “Gumdrops” referred to the candy, and the phrase's connotation was self-consciously cute, as if childish glee.
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.