British English Slang – Dicky bow or Dickie bow or Dickey bow. 

Meaning (noun) – A bow tie. A bow tie is a necktie in the form of a bow with two loops. This expression is often used to describe a bow tie that is large or overly ornate. The term is sometimes used in a humorous or derogatory way to describe someone who is trying to be overly fashionable or stylish.

This slang expression is British English slang that has evolved from Cockney rhyming slang. The word dicky is rhyming slang for shirt (from dicky dirt = shirt).  The bow tie looks like a bow on a shirt and this is how the expression dicky bow came about.

Cockney Rhyming Slang – More Examples:

Bow ties are formal wear and usually worn with a dinner jacket. A dinner jacket (UK English) or tuxedo (American English) is a semi-formal evening suit usually worn at weddings, balls, proms or other formal occasions. Don’t forget to include some smart black kicks (slang – shoes) with your outfit!

dinner jacket

You might need to wear a dicky bow if you attend a black tie event. A black tie event is some kind of formal or semi-formal occasion such as an opera or ballet performance.

People in the business world occasionally wear bow ties, as they can be seen as a sign of sophistication and professionalism. Bow ties can be worn for more casual occasions, such as a night out or a party.


  • “I’ve bought myself a dapper dicky bow for Tracy’s wedding next month. I can’t wait to try it on!”

In The News:

…Martin replied: “My dad has a lovely leopard-skin jacket that I might wear at the Oscars and hopefully a nice dicky bow and a nice shirt of mine, it’ll go down a treat hopefully.”

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