Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tantivy n.

[SE tantivy, a gallop at full tilt. The nickname use arose c.1680, when a caricature was published in which a number of High Church clergymen were represented as mounted upon the Church of England and ‘riding tantivy’ to Rome, behind the Duke of York]

1. (also tantwivy) imitative of the sound of a hunting horn.

[UK]R. Brome Jovial Crew IV i: And Tantivy all the country over, where Hunting, Hawking, or any Sport is to be made.
[UK]Vanbrugh Aesop II i: aesop: To Boot and Saddle again they found. ro.: Ta ra! tan tan ra ra! [...] Tantive Tantive Tantive.
[UK]Swift ‘Cantata 1’ in Chalmers Eng. Poets XI (1810) 463/2: Now slowly move your fiddle-stick; Now, tantan, tantantivi, quick.
[UK]G. Stevens ‘The Bottle’ Songs Comic and Satyrical 185: The Sportsman arous’d when the Horn harks away, / Shrill echo Tantwivy repeating.
[UK]W. Nimrod Songs of the Chace 97: Tantivee, tivee, tivee, tivee, high and low, / Hark how the merry, merry horn does blow.

2. (also tantivy boy) a nickname given to the post-Restoration High Churchmen and Tories, esp. in the reigns of Charles II (1660–85) and James II (1685–8); also adj.

[UK]E. Hickeringill Hist. Whiggism in Works (1709) I 3: Good Mr. Tantivee, be not so fierce, you know you promis’d to wink at me, if I would pay you six-pence a Quarter, over and above my Tythes.
[UK] ‘The Whigs’ Litany for St. Omer’s’ in Ebsworth Roxburghe Ballads (1885) V:1 192: From the Tantivy and the Tory, / Who may not live till they be hoary / [...] / Libera nos Domine!
[UK]Motteux (trans.) Pantagruelian Prognostications (1927) II 694: Swaggering huff-snuffs, bouncing bullies, [...] tory-rory rakes and tantivy boys.
[UK]Humours of a Coffee-House 9 Jan. 87: When he have occasion for a Tantivee Hangman, we’ll send for your Friend Mr. Lesley.
[UK]Swift letter xxxii 10 Oct. Journal to Stella (1901) 312: He says that an ambitious tantivy, missing of his towering hopes of preferment in Ireland is come over to vent his spleen on the late Ministry, etc. I’ll tantivy him with a vengeance.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy II 286: Now, now the Tories all shall stoop, [...] And Whigs on Commonwealth get up, / To Tap the good old cause: / Tantivy-boys shall all go down.
[UK]Royal Cornwall Gaz. 15 Mar. n.p.: as 1834.
(con. late 17C) Macaulay Essays, ‘Comic Dramatists of the Restoration’ n.p.: Collier... was a Tory of the highest sort, such as in the cant of his age was called a tantivy [F&H].
[UK]R.D. Blackmore Lorna Doone (1923) 287: They talked so much about Birminghams, and Tantivies, and Whigs, and Tories, and Protestant flails.