- toy (n.)
- c.1300, "amorous playing, sport," later "piece of fun or entertainment" (c.1500), "thing of little value, trifle" (1520s), and "thing for a child to play with" (1580s). Of uncertain origin, and there may be more than one word here. Cf. Middle Dutch toy, Dutch tuig "tools, apparatus; stuff, trash," in speeltuig "play-toy, plaything;" German Zeug "stuff, matter, tools," Spielzeug "plaything, toy;" Danish tøi, Swedish tyg "stuff, gear." Applied as an adjective to things of diminutive size, especially dogs, from 1806. Toy-boy is from 1981.
- toy (v.)
- "deal carelessly (with), trifle," 1520s, from toy (n.) in its older sense.
If he be merie and toy with any,
Related: Toyed; toying.
His wife will frowne, and words geve manye.
["Song of the Bachelor's Life," 16c.]