Green’s Dictionary of Slang

lovey-dovey adj.

[lovey-dovey n.]

1. affectionate.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 20 Dec. 2/3: Such lovey-dovey devotodness has, however, not frequently preceded an action for breach [of promise].
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Mitchell on Matrimony’ in Roderick (1972) 288: A man can’t go on talking lovey-dovey talk for ever.
[UK]T.W.H. Crosland ‘Reveille’ Chant of Affection and War Verses 19: And the words aint ‘lovey dovey’ nor ‘snookey cow-boy coon,’ / But ‘Death and bloody slaughter,’ and the Devil’s wrote the tune .
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 279: A man doesn’t do a darn thing but sit on his chair and have lovey-dovey conferences with a lot of classy dames.
[US]A.E. Duckett ‘Truckin ’round Brooklyn’ in N.Y. Age 8 Feb. 7/1: Tommy Schell and Harriett Brooks are exchanging lovey-dovey looks.
[US](con. 1944) N. Mailer Naked and Dead 185: While we’re home [...] they’re all lovey-dovey.
[US]J. Thompson Savage Night (1991) 134: Think it’s smart to go around so danged [...] lovey-dovey.
[US]C. Himes Big Gold Dream 25: By the time they had cleaned the pot, everybody felt lovey-dovey.
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 97: I’ll come over all lovey-dovey.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Diamonds are for Heather’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] I can’t do all that lovey-dovey stuff.
[SA]P. Hotz Muzukuru 35: We were getting all lovey-dovey there.
[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 234: I was thinking, ‘She wants to mess around with me,’ like lovey dovey, which I really didn’t want.
[US]N. Kelley ‘The Code’ in Brooklyn Noir 181: He wanted to include some lovey-dovey sop.
[Scot]V. McDermid Insidious Intent (2018) 112: ‘So you think the whole lovey-dovey atmosphere might have made Kathryn an easier pick-up?’.

2. maudlin or mawkishly sentimental.

[Scot]Dundee Courier 12 Apr. 6/7: Don’t sit around and read lovey-dovey novels.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 14 Nov. 8/3: There is no excuse for a ‘lovey-dovey’ style.
[UK]Guardian G2 11 Apr. 6: People weeping and lovey-dovey and all that.