From the British Raj? 
Posted: 25 December 2009 10:32 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Plaguing us here in Mumbai is the origin of the word “Ticketyboo” if that’s the correct spelling. We are part of a multi-national community here, and it seems Australians, Canadians, even S. AFricans know this word, but oddly not Americans. Can anyone shed some light?

Also Bog Standard (although I like the Wikipedia explanations!

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Posted: 26 December 2009 02:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Welcome Ajoasika. Could you give us some context? How is the word used?

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Posted: 26 December 2009 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Michael Quinion, in his World Wide Words opines.  He does admit to the possibility of an Indian origin.

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Posted: 26 December 2009 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The OED2 suggests that the Hindi thik hai, all right, may be the origin. As Quinion points out, the OED has 1939 as the earliest citation. A non-Indian origin suggested by the big dic is that it is simply a playful alteration of ticket, as in that’s the ticket, which dates to a century earlier..

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Posted: 26 December 2009 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Here’s Quinion’s take on it:

We can’t be sure what its origin is. Eric Partridge always contended that the word was forces’ slang, most probably from the Royal Air Force, and that it dates from the early 1920s or thereabouts (though the Oxford English Dictionary doesn’t find a written example before 1939). Considering the number of Canadians who flew with the RAF during World War II, its move to Canada isn’t surprising.

The difficult bit is taking the word back any further than the 1920s. It could combine that’s the ticket — with much the same sense — with the childish phrase peek-a-boo. But some find a link with the British Army in India, suggesting it comes from the Hindi phrase tikai babu, which is translated as “it’s all right, sir”.

All those possibilities are pretty unlikely, in my opinion.  It’s one of the many, many slang terms that come out of nowhere and whose origin we will probably never know.

Edit: Pipped by Dave!

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Posted: 27 December 2009 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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As for “bog standard”, which I always like to think of as the trade newspaper for lavatory attendants, Quinion looks sound here as well, suggesting that this British expression for “plain, ordinary” might be a variation of “box standard”, but probably isn’t an acronym for “British or German”. The earliest use of the expression I can find in Google Books appears to be 1969, although I’m only getting a snippet view on that so the date as given by Google may be wrong: it seems significant, though, that all the earliest references look to be in a British motor engineering context: the British motor industry was mostly based in the West Midlands, and it is easy to imagine (well, easy for me to imagine) a Birmingham accent making “box standard” sound like “bog standard”, and it being misheard and subsequently misrepeated.

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Posted: 29 December 2009 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Bog Standard is alive and well in Oz. In the Australian version of Top Gear, instead of putting celebrities in a “Reasonably priced car” we put them in a “Bog Standard” car. Can’t say that I heard it a lot before that, but it was out and about before 2008, when the Aussie Top Gear started.

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Posted: 29 December 2009 08:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The second usage citation (for tickety-boo) from the OED2 is of interest: 1947 Amer. N. & Q. Sept. 94/1 Lord Mountbatten, now Governor General of India, is credited in the New York Times Magazine (June 22, 1947, p. 45) with ‘giving currency’ to the phrase ‘tickety-boo’ (or ‘tiggerty-boo’). This Royal Navy term for ‘okay’ is derived from the Hindustani.”

Not familiar in the US.  I think I first encountered it in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (original radio show, 2nd season IIRC):  “Hi there guys! This is Eddie your shipboard computer welcoming you back on board the starship Heart of Gold. We are currently heading away from the planet Earth on improbability drive, and all systems are just tickety-boo.”

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Posted: 30 December 2009 04:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The earliest citation I’ve found via Google Books is Life magazine, 17 August 1942, p.65, (link).

On models, Mountbatten works out every Commando raid, putting himself in the place of each raiding Commando, each defending Nazi. When every move is planned, he approves it as “all tickety-boo.”

Again, it is associated with Louis Mountbatten.
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Posted: 30 December 2009 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Not sure if this of any help.  My father served in the British Army in the Lancers between 1929 and 1937.  It was an expression he used and one I was brought up hearing. 

The Scottish comedian Billy Connolly uses it as his company name.  Ticketyboo Productions.  Billy had a close relative an Uncle who also served in the British Army in India.

http://www.ticketyboo.co.uk which is a Domain I own purely for sentimental reasons offers the explanation that it is a corruption of a Hindu phrase.  I would be interested toi hear the thoughts of the poster from Mumbai on this.

The connection with Mountbatten and India does help to re-inforce the origins.

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