Goody Two Shoes


What does Goody Two Shoes mean?

Goody Two Shoes is a mocking expression for a person that is making an ostentatious attempt at being virtuous.

A person like this usually appears as insincere and inhumane since they are overly eager to prove themselves moral.


What's the origin of Goody Two Shoes?

The phrase first appeared in the 1670 poem of Charles Cotton, titled Voyage to Ireland in Burlesque.

The verse goes:

“Mistress mayoress complained that the pottage was cold;

‘And all long of your fiddle-faddle,’ quoth she.

‘Why, then, Goody Two-shoes, what if it be?

Hold you, if you can, your tittle-tattle,’ quoth he.”

The expression, however, was popularized by the children’s book, The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, published by John Newbery in 1765.

Spread & Usage

How did Goody Two Shoes spread?

Following the publishing of the children’s story, “goody two shoes” became a popular clause for people, who are unrealistically altruistic.

The expression saw use in the 19th century already, although it became widely popular across the Anglosphere following the 1940’s.

“Goody two shoes” was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2004.

External resources

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