Green’s Dictionary of Slang

rorty adj.

also roarty, raughty
[? Yid., rorität, anything choice or f. rhy. sl. rorty = naughty]

1. fine, splendid, jolly.

[UK]A. Stephens ‘The Chickaleary Cove’ [lyrics] I have a rorty gal, also a knowing pal, / And merrily together we jog on.
[UK]Sheffield Dly Teleg. 9 Nov. 3/2: To his ‘firm pal,’ Jack, he bequeaths his favourite jemmy; to his ‘Rotty [sic] Cully,’ Bill, his ‘ticker,’ which he ‘bunged from the old cove on Denmark-hill; and to his ‘Leary Bloke,’ Bob, his unexpired ticket-of-leave.
[UK]W.E. Henley ‘Culture in the Slums’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 178: For in such rorty wise doth Love express / His blooming views, and asks for your address.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 16 Nov. 3/2: The Dead Bird is the liveliest, crispest, rortiest, freshest, flyest paper ever published.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 26 July 3/2: ‘Just to get a taste of her own ridiculous, rorty old Rooster’.
E.W. Rogers [perf. Marie Lloyd] The Barmaid [lyrics] ‘Ror-ty bit o’ crackling don’t you think so?’.
[UK]A. Morrison Child of the Jago (1982) 147: The gonophs down our alley they calls ’er Rorty Sal.
[UK]T.W.H. Crosland ‘M.C.’ in Five Notions 23: Let’s ’ave a drink at the Savage. Here’s to the rorty M.C.!
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 19 May 2nd sect. 9/1: They Say [...] That the honor of being the belle of the rink is claimed by three Starlings. That each is positively certain she is the rortiest roller on the rink.

2. (also roarty, rorty-torty) boisterous, rowdy, noisy; also as a nickname; also as adv. (see cit. 1878), and rortily.

[UK]London & Provincial Entr’acte 1 Oct. 6/2: ‘Ikey Bill’ and ‘Rorty Tom’ both turned up and put down their thrums.
[UK] ‘’Arry at the Play’ in Punch 2 Nov. in P. Marks (2006) 39: I’ve bin going the rounds rare and rorty. [Ibid.] 40: So o river, Yours rortily, ’ARRY.
[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 8 May 7/2: [title] The Bloomin’ Flower of Rorty Gulch.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Jan. 5/1: You say, in one of these contributions, ‘Squinny-eyed Liz is nuts on the Rorty Snob from Miller’s flat.’ [Ibid.] 28 Mar. 11/3: ‘Now, Dubbo Kate, you shall be let alone if you tell me what has become of Rorty Johnson. We want him for a super and slang!’ This is when they are ‘on the track.’ When they’ve got a clue, they sit in a pub. all day, and gaze attentively up at the wrong house.
[UK] ‘Fanny Flukem’s Ball’ in Bird o’ Freedom (Sydney) in J. Murray Larrikins (1973) 39: Now listen, rorty bummers, / And line up where I stand.
[UK]Morris & LeBrunn [perf. Vesta Tilley] The Smile [lyrics] See ’em down at Piccadilly, there’s Marie and rorty Ted.
[Aus] ‘My Name It Is McCarty’ in Seal (1999) 41: My name it is McCarty and I’m a rorty party / I’m rough and tough as an old man kangaroo.
[Aus]Burra Record (SA) 18 Apr. 5/5: They Say [...] That Hanson people had a rorty-torty time on Good Friday [Ibid.] 30 May 5/1: They Say [...] That the lads and lassies are in high hopes of having a rorty-torty tip-toe on Monday night.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 30 Jan. 5/1: Rangers reckon the pair were rorty.
[Aus]Arrow (Sydney) 4 May 8/3: The black, velvet-faced, light tweed coat, and the huge plate-sized buttons and ‘roarty’ air of the stage London hawker.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘Farewell and Adieu!’ in Naval Occasions 144: And I’ve heard her talking like a Mother to a rorty Midshipman – a silly young ass who was drinking like a fish and wasting his money and health pub-crawling.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 245: Rorty: Used of a man always in trouble.
[Aus]I.L. Idriess Flynn of the Inland 280: Joe had relapsed to camels and his opinion of those beasts was as ‘rorty’ as a local dust-storm.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 19 Jan. 28/2: The haughty girl, the rorty girl, Don’t kiss me ’cos it’s naughty’ girl.
[UK]C. Harris Three-Ha’Pence to the Angel 89: Now don’t get all rorty, don’t go up in the air.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 2: If somebody gets rorty and mucks up the show [...] chuck ’im into the Alley.
[UK](con. 1940s) G. Dutton Andy 47: If you are feeling rorty and passionate [...] then you can loop it and roll it and fly it so low the prop cuts grass.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 26: The bucks night had been a pretty rorty affair.

3. of behaviour, speech etc, coarse, earthy, crudely comic; sexually aggressive.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 1 Aug. 12/1: Lord St. Leonards, the ‘rorty’ haughty noble who recently got into trouble for forcing his titled attentions upon a servant-maid, when ‘master was out,’ announces his intention of honouring Australia with a visit.
[UK]R. Whiteing No. 5 John Street 95: A right-down ‘raughty gal’ leading her alley to battle against the Roman ‘slops.’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 17 July 1/1: The amorous propensities of a seaside lawmaker are earning him an unenviable reputation [...] no maiden meandering about after dark is safe from his gloatsome glances and ‘Good Night, Gerties’.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘Introduction’ in Moods of Ginger Mick ix: Jist to intrajuice me cobber, an’ ’is name is Ginger Mick – / A rorty boy, a naughty boy, wiv rude ixpressions thick.

In compounds

rorty bloke (n.) (also rorty toff) [bloke n. (3)/toff n. (2); the bloke is seen (according to Ware) as a superior being to the toff (? because the toff had pretensions, while the bloke was down to earth)]

a good fellow, an engaging companion, a fashionable upper-class gentleman.

[UK]H. Lander Lucky Bargee 40: Ordering his apprentice to obtain writing materials, he said: ‘Now, my rorty toff, fake a letter to ole Molly, and I’ll give yer that five bob what I said yer should have’.
[UK]J. Ware Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 201/2: Proper donas and rorty blokes (L. Peoples’, 1880). Good and true men and women. [Ibid.] 210/2: Rorty toff (Costers’). Variation of rorty bloke – an inferior rorty bloke.

In phrases

do the rorty (v.)

to enjoy oneself.

[UK] ‘’Arry on a ’ouseboat’ in Punch 15 Aug. 77/1: Lots of toppers [...] / Was a doin’ the rorty and rosy as lively as ’Opkins’s lot.