tackey, tackyShow more Also tackey, tacky, teckie, tekkie.
English, Scottish English, Afrikaans, South African EnglishShow more Etymology uncertain: perhaps from general English tacky sticky, or Scottish English dialect tacky cheap, rubbishy (but see also quotation 1987, sense 1 a). The common spelling takkie reflects a perception that the word is Afrikaans in origin; the spellings teckie and tekkie reflect Afrikaans or marked South African English pronunciation.
a.A rubber-soled canvas shoe; transferred sense, a sports shoe or running shoe. Also attributive, and figurative.
Similar shoes are elsewhere called ‘plimsolls’ or ‘sandshoes’ (especially in British English), and ‘sneakers’ (especially in U.S. English).
1913C. PettmanAfricanderisms 491Tackies, In the border towns of the Eastern Province this is the name given to rubber-soled sand-shoes.
1941Bantu World 22 Feb. 8The constant wearing of tackies is not good..for the rubber soles do not allow the feet to perspire freely.
1947H.C. Bosman inL. AbrahamsCask of Jerepigo (1972) 236And he looked quite all right, too, in his dinner-jacket and black trousers and carrying a tray. But his tackies, reinforced with string and newspapers, formed the subject of a good deal of ill-natured gossip in the dining saloon.
1955D. JacobsonTrap 20He wore canvas takkies on his feet, his toes poking through the ends.
1958I. VaughanDiary 60We all have to wear blue pleeted [sic] skirts and blouses and white tackies on the feet and drill with wood dumb bells and broom sticks.
1966L.G. BergerWhere’s Madam 73They come along when they hear there’s a job going. Looking meek and downcast in their ragged T-shirts and scuffing their dirty, laceless tackies in the dust.
1978A. ElliottSons of Zulu 69Another line which is sold, mostly to the girls, is sparkling white sand-shoes — or tackies (‘teckies’) as they call them.
1987M. Green inSunday Star 6 Dec. (Review) 2I mentioned that the new Oxford dictionary of South African English did not give a derivation for tackie (tennis shoe) and speculated that it might come from the Latin taceo, to be silent. Wharrie..writes: ‘It is a word used in Scotland to mean poor quality, rubbishy. Before World War 2 tennis shoes were imported into South Africa from Japan. They were very badly made and fell apart in no time and soon became known as tackies among the then fairly large Scottish community.’
1990I. Vusi inDrum Dec. 39If you dared turn up in tekkies and faded jeans, you might be led to a bathroom where you’ll [sic] be rinsed and then dolled up in a pair of pants and shoes, two sizes too big.
1993M. Oosterbroek inDaily News 11 Jan. 7Even six-year-olds knew the difference between R150 no-name brand tackies and R400 Nikes.
c.colloquial. In idiomatic expressions: a piece of old tackie, a ‘piece of cake’, an easy task; on a tackie-string (nonce), on a shoe-string, cheaply; to tread tackie, to accelerate, to drive;cf. to put foot (see put).
1976‘Blossom’ inDarling 7 July 103It’s a piece of ole takkie chatting up ou’s at pop festivals.
1977C. Hope inS. GrayTheatre Two (1981) Zip zap and we’re in! Piece of old tackie, man. No grief.
1979W. Steenkamp inCape Times 18 Dec. 2Getting the news of the Zimbabwe Rhodesian ceasefire to the Patriotic Front guerillas might well make Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride look like a piece of old tackie.
1987J. Scott inE. Prov. Herald 25 July 4Let’s face it, channel swimming is a piece of old tackie compared to walking into the ocean from a beach that has not been allocated to your particular race group.
1989H. Martin inDaily Dispatch 13 May 8By the time they finally trod tackie on the road out, a full week had gone by.
1990G. Horning inStyle June 102Style for me means: Dressing to be myself, on a takkie-string.
1991Sunday Times 8 Sept. 10Looks like a piece of old takkie, tossing a magazine together.
1992Weekend Post 4 Jan. 1I was a bit apprehensive when I first started..but now it’s a piece of old tackie.
1993 M-Net TV 29 Oct. (Egoli)‘Sounds dangerous!’ ‘Aah — piece of old tackie.’
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