tackie, takkie, noun

Forms:
tackey, tackyShow more Also tackey, tacky, teckie, tekkie.
Origin:
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.
1.
a. A rubber-soled canvas shoe; transferred sense, a sports shoe or running shoe. Also attributive, and figurative.
Note:
Similar shoes are elsewhere called ‘plimsolls’ or ‘sandshoes’ (especially in British English), and ‘sneakers’ (especially in U.S. English).
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 491Tackies, In the border towns of the Eastern Province this is the name given to rubber-soled sand-shoes.
1924 Ann. Mountain Club S. Afr. No.27, 46Ye who scale with ropes and ‘tackies’ Cliffs of awe-inspiring grandeur.
1941 Bantu World 22 Feb. 8The constant wearing of tackies is not good..for the rubber soles do not allow the feet to perspire freely.
1947 H.C. Bosman in L. Abrahams Cask 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.
1955 D. Jacobson Trap 20He wore canvas takkies on his feet, his toes poking through the ends.
1958 I. Vaughan Diary 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.
1966 L.G. Berger Where’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.
1978 A. Elliott Sons of Zulu 69Another line which is sold, mostly to the girls, is sparkling white sand-shoes — or tackies (‘teckies’) as they call them.
1987 M. Green in Sunday 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.’
1990 I. Vusi in Drum 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.
1993 M. Oosterbroek in Daily News 11 Jan. 7Even six-year-olds knew the difference between R150 no-name brand tackies and R400 Nikes.
b. combinations
tackie-deep adverb, ankle-deep;
tackie gauntlet, tackie parade, army slang for an unofficial punishment in which a recruit has to run the gauntlet, while being beaten with tackies;
tackie squad, a collective nickname for (a) plainclothes policemen who patrol wearing running shoes, or (b) an intelligence unit of the Defence Force.
1977 Daily Dispatch 9 Nov. 1Soweto policemen yesterday stood tackie-deep in flowing white beer froth that bubbled up like soap suds as they poured 1 700 dozen bottles of beer down police drains.
1976 Cape Times 29 Dec. 3A national serviceman..died after running a ‘tackie gauntlet’ twice in one week ‘to sharpen him up’.
1978 Daily Dispatch 18 July 2A national serviceman..died..after he had undergone ‘three or four unofficial tackie parades’.
1991 Weekend Argus 31 Aug. 14A Tackie Squad — plainclothes policemen who wear running shoes and casual clothes — have already proven successful in fighting crime in the city centre.
1991 J. Pauw In Heart of Whore 178A mysterious SADF intelligence unit known as the ‘tekkie squad’, presumably because its members wore civilian clothes.
1993 E. Prov. Herald 6 Oct. 4Members of..the ‘takkie squad’ have arrested 15 suspects this past week.
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 in Darling 7 July 103It’s a piece of ole takkie chatting up ou’s at pop festivals.
1977 C. Hope in S. Gray Theatre Two (1981) Zip zap and we’re in! Piece of old tackie, man. No grief.
1979 W. Steenkamp in Cape 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.
1987 J. Scott in E. 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.
1989 H. Martin in Daily Dispatch 13 May 8By the time they finally trod tackie on the road out, a full week had gone by.
1990 G. Horning in Style June 102Style for me means: Dressing to be myself, on a takkie-string.
1991 Sunday Times 8 Sept. 10Looks like a piece of old takkie, tossing a magazine together.
1992 Weekend 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.’
2. figurative. A tyre; with defining word, fat tackie, a broad, well-ridged tyre, as used for racing or beach-driving. Also attributive.
1971 Informant, GrahamstownI hear about fat tackies every day of my life from that car-mad son of mine.
[1972 Daily Dispatch 3 Oct. 15 (advt)Super Premium radial is the safest tyre Dunlop ever built. Squat and square, it hangs onto corners. And sticks in the wet like a big fat sticky tacky.]
1972 Informant, GrahamstownMa, look at the size of the tackies on that lorry.
1974 Daily Dispatch 30 Oct. 1‘Tackies’ is used not to describe tennis shoes but car tyres.
1976 Darling 29 Sept. 61He will announce that he fits Fat Tackies Radials.., although everyone can see his car is fitted with tatty old cross-plys like everybody else.
1982 Sunday Times 25 Apr. 26All we need is some fur on the dashboard, an orange on the aerial and a set of ‘fat takkies’.
1987 H. Hamann in Frontline Apr. 22All it is is a thin tin can with fat takkies at the rear and ludicrously scrawny front wheels. A state-of-the-art soap box cart.
1988 G. Silber in Style Apr. 41There are uniformed security wardens riding around on fat-takkie bicycles.
1989 Sunday Times 8 Oct. (Mag. Sect.) 52The ‘Maid Marian’ of the ’80s drives her 4x4 pickup, fitted with fat takkies, to a clearing in the forest.
1992 J. Dawes on Radio South Africa 30 May (Wheelbase)Driven on very fat Goodfellow tackies.
A rubber-soled canvas shoe; transferred sense, a sports shoe or running shoe. Also attributive, and figurative.
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;
A tyre; with defining word, fat tackie, a broad, well-ridged tyre, as used for racing or beach-driving. Also attributive.
Derivatives:
Hence tackie intransitive verb slang, to accelerate, speed.
1992 M.D. Prentice Informant, DurbanLet’s takkie (accelerate a car).
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