I have difficulty in understanding the expression'goody two shoes'? How can I use it in a sentence? Is it a slang expression? I would really like you to explain it to me!

1 Answer 1


It is an idiomatic expression used to refer to someone who is coy, generally in an annoying manner:

Goody two shoes :

The definition of a goody two shoes is a person who always does everything right and always follows the rules, so much so that it becomes annoying.

  • An example of a goody two shoes is a person who always sits in front, waves her hand to answer every question in class and tattle tales on people on the playground.

(Your Dictionary)

The expression dates back to the 18th century when it was used in a tale with a moral, religious background:

  • The phrase derives from the title of the nursery tale The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, which was published in 1765. The authorship of this is disputed. Oliver Goldsmith is the name most commonly associated with it.

  • 'Goody Two-Shoes' is the name given to a poor orphan - Margery Meanwell.* She is so poor as to possess only one shoe and is so delighted when given a pair of shoes by a rich gentleman that she keeps repeating that she has 'two shoes.

(The Phrase Finder)

Usage exemples :

  • ‘You want me to be some sweet little goody two-shoes who can't handle herself.’

  • ‘Archy is the fair country boy and an idealist, though he is not presented as a goody two shoes.’

  • ‘About the only thing Ashcroft is guilty of is being a goody two shoes.’

  • ‘His character goes in one scene from an insufferably noble goody two shoes to a mean spirited madman that's so cold blooded that he barely breaks a sweat in the sauna.’


Usage examples:

  • He said: “If you’re going to make Christian films which paint the world as a goody two-shoes place where perfect Christians help people who aren’t so perfect come to the light, that’s just not the world we live in.” (Premier Magazine)

  • Naina on the other hand plays a goody two-shoes and after seeming to have more than enough time in the world to listen to the venom aunty spews, she decides to soften the oldie up by relaying her story. (India Today)

(The Grammarist)

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