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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


(US inf)
adj house, hotelheruntergekommen
n no pl (= building material)minderwertiges Baumaterial; (= goods)Schund m, → Ramsch m (inf)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
Trump tried to mess with the kid's head, calling "ticky-tacky rule violations," then patronizing him after he lost a few holes ("The kid put up a good fight, didn't he?") At that point, "A small bonfire lit under Levin, who wound up winning hole after hole, tying Trump up through 18 and then winning on the second playoff hole," Reilly writes.
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.
without taste, without standards but those of the mob." And they all lived, of course, in the famous "ticky-tacky houses" of the new suburbia.
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.