Green’s Dictionary of Slang

togs n.

[tog n. (1)]

1. (also toggs, togging, toggys, tuggs) clothes; often in combs., e.g. long togs, sporting togs, Sunday togs; see cite 1906 for rare sing. use.

[UK]J. Poulter Discoveries (1774) 36: They go in and fisk all the Rooms for Silver and Tuggs; that is, Clothes or any Thing that lies in the Way.
[UK]G. Parker View of Society I 48: Blow me up (says he) if I have had a fellow with such rum toggys cross my company these many a day.
[UK]C. Dibdin ‘Bonny Kitty’ in Buck’s Delight 54: I [...] Swore my wishes were all at an end; / That I’d sported away all my looking dollars, / And borrow’d my togs of a friend.
[UK] ‘Pray Remember Jack’ in Jovial Songster 84: My lockers bare, / And togs all tatter’d grown.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: So he fences all his togs to buy her duds, and then He frisks his master’s lob to take her from the bawdy ken.
[UK] ‘Night Before Larry Was Stretched’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 79: He’d pawn all the togs that he had.
[UK] ‘Lag’s Lament’ (trans. of an untitled cant poem) in Vidocq (1829) IV 265: My toggs was the sporting’st blunt could buy, / And a slap up out and outer was I.
[UK] ‘I Am A Blowen Togg’d Out So Gay’ in Flare-Up Songster 16: At night in fine togs I am off to the play.
Courier (Hobart, Tas.) 27 Oct. 3/1: [advert, from UK source] [S]lap-up full dress Togs. 2 couters, 3 quarters and a peg.
[UK]Thackeray Diary of C. Jeames de la Pluche in Works III (1898) 400: I used to dress myself in my full togs.
[US]Durivage & Burnham Stray Subjects (1848) 48: ‘Mr. Badger must be a werry deef ’un,’ said a mariner on liberty, looking very awkward and ferocious in ‘long-togs.’.
[US]Ladies’ Repository (N.Y.) Oct. VIII:37 317/1: Togging, clothing in general.
[US](con. 1843) Melville White-Jacket (1990) 173: Still another mode of passing time, was arraying yourself in your best togs, and promenading up and down the gundeck.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Young Tom Hall (1926) 78: The colonel [was] the first to get into his ‘togs’ [...] His coat was above a century old, and was made by a tailor at Dorechester [...] The collar, at first a soapy, but now a black-with-grease one, was right down upon the nape of the neck [etc.].
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor II 226/1: The rest of my tin goes for rent and baccy and togs.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 14 Sept. n.p.: [A] knife was found in King’s ‘togs’.
[US] in ‘Mark Twain’ Life on the Mississippi (1914) 462: [as spelt] ‘next morning I done it again & got me some new togs (clothes).’.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 222: We weren’t dressed in such togs as these ere, but had white canvas jumpers and trousers.
[Aus]‘Erro’ Squattermania 272: I see her get out of a hansom cab, in the werry best of togs.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 30 Sept. 2/3: [T]he boys will peep [...] whether rigged in fashion’s togs or the hand-me-downs of Chatham street.
[UK]Leicester Chron. 7 June 12/1: You could come the broken-down parson dodge proper with them togs.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 311: Joe takes Jim’s togs. They fitted him all to pieces.
[UK]Sporting Times 7 Jan. 1/4: On looking over my evening togs this morning, I found them all in holes.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 1 Apr. 1/7: Strip off yer togs [...] yer’ve got to have a bath.
[US]‘Billy Burgundy’ Toothsome Tales Told in Sl. 122: MORAL: Tart Togs Turn the Trick.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 10 Jan. 5/2: A young, delicate-looking gentleman [...] in resplendent togs.
Worker (Wagga Wagga, NSW) 27 Sept. 7/3: I’d dress me in my Sunday tog / And loudly shout ‘Hooray!’ .
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘Robe of Peace’ in Strictly Business (1915) 86: Swell togs.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 8 June 14/2: They Say [...] That Wong went fisher’s hook because , he didn’t get his new togs.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 140: I got the guv’nor’s togs from the cloakroom.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 122: Get into some regular he-togs.
[Aus]Maryborough Chron. (Qld) 25 Mar. 4/1: His range of togs is largely concentrated in the white uniform of the ship’s steward.
[UK]N. Gale ‘Nan’ in Messrs Bat and Ball 41: Her hero – Herbert Sutcliffe – smiles / His Century-smile in cricket togs.
C. Drew ‘Gorilla Grogan’ in Bulletin (Sydney) 26 July 41/2: We slip into our togs and drop out of the side window and hit the breeze for our pub.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 190: If she had a baby she’d keep it clean and in cute togs.
[Aus]A. Gurney Bluey & Curley 30 Sept. [synd. cartoon strip] If you had your togs pinched — how is it you didn’t catch a cold.
[US]H. Miller Sexus (1969) 402: I could meet her at dinner, in her new togs.
[Aus]D. Niland Shiralee 187: He asked a man named Mick to drop his togs and billycan into the boarding-house.
[UK]P. Barnes Ruling Class I viii: She got dressed up in some theatrical togs.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 283: He sold working togs to whores.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Start in Life (1979) 198: I [...] saw that half the milk was spilling down Gilbert’s immaculate togs.
[Aus]J. Byrell (con. 1959) Up the Cross 19: [They] stripped the togs off Whiffy Maloney.
[UK]M. Read Scouting for Boys in Best Radio Plays (1984) 162: georgina: Not taking your togs off Mr Cooper? coop: I bathed earlier thank you.
[UK]Guardian G2 14 Sept. 3: I’d just returned from Africa and didn’t have much in the way of togs.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 161: His togs positively shrieked bogusness [...] a paisley handkerchief sprawling from a breast pocket is a certain giveaway of thwarted social aspiration.

2. (Aus./N.Z.) a swimming costume.

[UK]C. Holme Lonely Plough (1931) 93: Some old bathing-togs he had dug up somewhere!
[UK]V. Palmer Passage 54: There were bathing-togs hanging over the rails. [Ibid.] 83: All right, kid; you nip in and get my togs [...] He was more at ease in his bathing-trunks than in his double-breasted serge suit.
[Aus]Williamstown Chron. (Vic.) 14 Jan. 7/2: Make sure you are wearing one of Keig’s [...] Swimming Suits. The togs reflect the character of the wearer.
[NZ]F. Sargeson ‘That Summer’ in Coll. Stories (1965) 156: We’d fool about in the water, and if there was nobody around we wouldn’t worry about any togs.
[NZ]N. Hilliard Maori Girl 225: That’s Cecil in his swimming togs.
[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 105: Once when Australians went to the beach for a ‘dip’ they carried ‘cossies’, ‘bathers’ or ‘togs’ or in South Australia ‘swimmies.’.
[UK]K. Lette Llama Parlour 23: I decided, dropping my togs, that Pierce was up himself.
[Ire]G. Coughlan Everyday Eng. and Sl. 🌐 Togs (n): swimming trunks.

In phrases

top togs (n.)

a coat, an overcoat.

[UK]Flash Mirror 19: R. Rainbow, Slap Toggery-maker; benjamins, top togs, cover-me-decents, togs, and kicks of every sort done to a new move, pinch’d in knee pillow-cases, done fine and work’d to fit any forks.