An African bulbul (songbird) with a black or dark brown head and crest.
Genus Pycnonotus, family Pycnonotidae: several species
Late 19th century from topknot.
nountoppiesinformal South African
A middle-aged or elderly man.
- ‘a toppie with grey hair turned us away’
- ‘When he (an old De La Sallian who became a noted chemist and mayor of Molteno and is now retired in Port Elizabeth) and I went to the last Old Boys dinner we attended, I said to him, ‘But where are all the old ‘toppies’?’’
- ‘An old toppie from the Vatican of all places stood up and said: ‘I have listened to all the problems all morning, but… if the country is still functioning after 10 years and farmers are still farming, you must have done something right.’’
1960s perhaps from Zulu thopi ‘growing sparsely’ (describing thinning hair), or from Hindi ṭopī ‘hat’.