Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR TOPSY-TURVY

Why cannot he carry his zeal for topsy-turvy horticulture elsewhere?

We may read this cable wrong but it seems to us to embody a topsy-turvy tactic!

It was a topsy-turvy world in which the dogs found themselves of late.

It was her introduction to the topsy-turvy world into which she had come.

It was that topsy-turvy product—an "exclusive" commercial enterprise.

Yes—the revolution that turns us all topsy-turvy—the revolution of Love.

This is topsy-turvy reasoning, of course, but at the same time it is suggestive.

It was a dreary, desolate night that he spent in the topsy-turvy cottage.

Almost comic this last—a sort of topsy-turvy adultery charge!

It was all over, the light was gone, everything was topsy-turvy.

WORD ORIGIN

1520s, "but prob. in popular use from an earlier period" [OED], likely from tops, plural of top (n.1) "highest point" + obsolete terve "turn upside down, topple over," from Old English tearflian "to roll over, overturn," from Proto-Germanic *terbanan (cf. Old High German zerben "to turn round"). The Century Dictionary (1902) calls it "A word which, owing to its popular nature, its alliterative type, and to ignorance of its origin, leading to various perversions made to suggest some plausible origin, has undergone, besides the usual variations of spelling, extraordinary modifications of form." It lists 31 variations.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR TOPSY-TURVY

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.