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Shoddy material, as for the construction of standardized housing.
1. Made of shoddy material; cheaply built.
a. Marked by a mediocre uniformity of appearance or style: ticky-tacky rows of look-alike houses.
b. Tawdry; tacky.

[ Reduplication of tacky.]


1. building material that is cheap and of low quality
2. inferior or shoddy goods
adj, -tackier or -tackiest
3. cheaply constructed
4. inferior or shoddy


(ˈtɪk iˌtæk i)
Informal. adj.
1. shoddy and unimaginatively designed: ticky-tacky bungalows.
3. ticky-tacky material or something made of it.
[1960–65; reduplication of tacky2]


(US inf)
adj house, hotelheruntergekommen
n no pl (= building material)minderwertiges Baumaterial; (= goods)Schund m, → Ramsch m (inf)
References in periodicals archive ?
Shopping centres around the city would all be back to their best with more than just charity shops, betting shops and estate agents, of course, not forgetting the boarded-up dereliction just waiting for the mystery arsonist to show up and open the area for the property developers to move in and put up little boxes made of ticky-tacky that all look just the same.
He got called for his fourth (foul) very early, and it was a ticky-tacky foul.
Or, if we do, the house will be gone and the land will have been turned into a ticky-tacky subdivision, with no trace of the home I once loved.
A ticky-tacky wrought-iron railing divides the living room from the formal dining room, which continues through to an eat-in kitchen and a den/family room with another fireplace.
We bought a house this past summer--a redbrick, cookie-cutter, ticky-tacky exurban Louisiana house of the sort that would make the combustible urbanist James Howard Kunstler's hair catch on fire, if he still had hair.
The psychic lived in a ticky-tacky house in South Vancouver, did her readings at a Formica kitchen table and began each morning by hanging upside down.
So don't expect to see ticky-tacky kitsch in the form of thatched roofs or bamboo torches when you vist Hogo.
We could also eliminate ticky-tacky [penalties] if we went down from the current 74 reporting dates.
For these commentators, apparently, teachers are made of the same ticky-tacky that was used to build those identical "little boxes on the hillside" about which folksinger Malvina Reynolds crooned back in the 1960s.
While Long Island as a geographical location may conjure suburban images of housewives, ticky-tacky houses, strip malls and traffic snarls, many places on the island more closely resemble quaint New England villages: Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Sag Harbor, and the secluded and beautiful Shelter Island make it hard to believe you are only a couple of hours from New York City.
The properties are located in an area known for its collection of dingy, run down buildings, ticky-tacky shops hawking perfume, handbags and trinkets, and a rough and tumble crew of retail goods sellers and street traders who lug their wares in large shopping bags along Broadway.
I often find a middle ground to stand between two issues, or I at least recognize the opposing argument--it's my theoretical little box made of ticky-tacky in which I reside.