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Pet form of the male forename Edward.

teddy bear a soft toy bear; the teddy bear came into vogue about 1907, and was so called in humorous allusion to Theodore Roosevelt (US President 1901–9), whose bear-hunting expeditions occasioned a celebrated comic poem, accompanied by cartoons, in the New York Times of 7 January 1906, concerning the adventures of two bears named ‘Teddy B’ and ‘Teddy G’. These names were transferred to two bears (also known as the ‘Roosevelt bears’) presented to Bronx Zoo in the same year; finally the fame of these bears was turned to advantage by toy dealers, whose toy ‘Roosevelt bears’, imported from Germany, became an instant fashion in the US.

teddy bears' picnic an occasion of innocent enjoyment; from the title of a song (c.1932) by Jimmy Kennedy and J. W. Bratton.

Teddy boy (in the 1950s) a young man of a subculture characterized by a style of dress based on Edwardian fashion (typically with drainpipe trousers, bootlace tie, and hair slicked up in a quiff) and a liking for rock-and-roll music.

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