Goody two shoes

Let me make it clear right upfront:  a Goody two shoes is nothing you want to be or aspire to be.

Goody Two Shoes in all her sentimental goodness, pic: http://gazingatnavels.

The expression is used to describe a real goody-good person, somebody who is good or virtuous in a self-righteous, smug or sentimental manner.   Goody Two Shoes often make a big deal of their virtue and like to show it off to everybody. Goody Two Shoes can be male or female, the term does not imply gender.

Here is an example:

“She is such an annoying Goody Two Shoes, always perfectly behaved, never says a bad word, very polite to everybody, never misses a deadline, never late.  I can’t stand her!”

The expression generally is used in a negative sense, there are instances where it is used to describe perfectly wonderful, sweet people in an non-derogatory way but those are rarer and often people feel compelled to say something like “and I don’t mean that in a bad way” to qualify the term.  I personally would not use it for a nice person – the chance is to great that it would be taken as a backhanded compliment.

The origin is a British fairy tale similar to the Cinderella story where a poor little girl got a pair of shoes (she previously only owned one) and run around to tell everybody.  of course, she also married up because she was such a sweet, unassuming, modest little thing and lived happily …

You know the rest.

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