American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adv. With the top downward and the bottom up; upside-down.
- adv. In or into a state of utter disorder or confusion: "turning our ordered life topsy-turvy” ( Anne Tyler).
- adj. Turned or positioned upside down; inverted.
- adj. Confused or disordered.
- n. The quality or condition of being topsy-turvy.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Upside down; in reverse of the natural order; hence, in a state of confusion or chaos: formerly sometimes followed by down.
- Turned upside down; upset; hence, confused; disordered; chaotic.
- n. A topsyturvy condition; great disorder; confusion; chaos.
- To turn upside down; upset.
- adj. Backwards or upside-down; disorderly; chaotic.
- adv. Backwards or upside-down; disorderly; chaotically.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adv. In an inverted posture; with the top or head downward; upside down.
- adv. in a disordered manner
- adj. in utter disorder
- adv. in disorderly haste
- Earlier topside-turvey, topsy-tervy; probably for top so turvy; that is, the top as turvy, as it were turvy, where turvy probably means "overturned", from Anglo-Saxon torfian to throw. (Wiktionary)
- Probably from top1 + obsolete terve, to overturn (from Middle English terven). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The Bushmen suggest that we have turned the basic truths of living upside-down and that is why practically everything in our lives, from the global economy to our homes, schools, politics, and ecology, is in such a topsy-turvy mess.”
“He showed some mettle and remained in the game, which was a topsy-turvy affair.”
“The ticket taker stares in disbelief at the topsy-turvy fun house.”
“Sarah Braverman endured a topsy-turvy year, between raising her teens, writing her play and facing her ex-husband — all of which was relayed with remarkable relatability, likability and versatility by Graham.”
“Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, Tom Rachmans wry, vibrant debut follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters, editors, and executives of an international English language newspaper as they struggle to keep itand themselvesafloat.”
“In doing so, they cut straight through the moral fog that has enveloped too many, preventing them, at great cost, from grasping compelling truths in today's topsy-turvy world.”
“The fact that Rory Reid is avoiding his surname as he runs for governor shows how topsy-turvy this election year has become.”
“A dispatch from the Associated Press's Liz Sidoti illustrates the topsy-turvy results:”
“But given the topsy-turvy history of military tribunals, which have been successfully challenged in the courts, Justice officials expect the 9/11 trials will remain unresolved by the time Mr. Obama seeks reelection in 2012.”
“In effect, the victims were being punished, a topsy-turvy outcome fairly typical of the SEC's handling of wrongdoing by large corporations in cases like these.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘topsy-turvy’.
Loved for their ingenuity, an exact description, or simply for the pure joy of it.
Go for it, brothers and sisters! I personally have been suffering long for lack of an open reduplicatives list
inspired by Mistakes Were Made. Words for things going wrong in a manner particularly violent, stupid, soul-crushing, boggling, grandiose, or any combination of these qualities.
Words used quite often in steampunk
Just some words I happen to enjoy. Some thread-worn, some not.
Words that are fun to say....
These words are from Samuel Richardson's novel Clarissa, Or, The History of a Young Lady, 1747-48
words that evoke magic, mystery, mayhem, magnificence or anything else that glimmers in the grass
Looking for tweets for topsy-turvy.