Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Slang A state of nervous excitement or confusion; a dither.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A state of nervous excitement, confusion, or distress; a dither.
  • n. A sixpence; a tester.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sixpence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an excited state of agitation

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Unknown. American, 1935. Possibly related to tizzy “sixpence coin”, slang for tester, a name for the coin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "At the Ship he gave her a shilling, and her face dropped. 'That's a shilling,' he said. 'Han't you ever seen a shilling?' She shook her head. 'It's twelve pennies,' he said, looking at his change. 'You know what a tizzy is, I dare say?'

    "'Oh yes. Everybody knows what a tizzy is,' said Margaret rather scornfully.

    "'Well, here are two of 'em. Because twice six is twelve, do you see.'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Reverse of the Medal, 120

    February 24, 2008