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Goody Two-Shoes Was A Goody-Goody

Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabularygoody two shoes

  • distraught: very upset
  • empower: to fill someone with a strong will or drive
  • heroine: a female hero; a girl or woman who helps people in a big way
  • etymologist: a person who studies the origin of words

Goody Two-Shoes Was A Goody-Goody

A “Goody Two-Shoes” is a person who always follows the rules and never does anything wrong. The shortened form “goody-goody” is also used to negatively describe a “do-gooder”. The expression was popularized by a story that was published in 1765. In the story, a poor orphan named Little Margery Meanwell only has one shoe. When her brother Tommy is taken away to become a , the little girl becomes distraught. She is filled with joy, however, when a shoemaker gives her a pair of shoes. She proudly points her shoes out to everyone she meets, and becomes as Goody Two-Shoes. Empowered by her new shoes, the orphan begins to educate herself. She learns how to read, and then herself to teach many other children how to read. She helps prevent a robbery in her village, and becomes a local heroine. She then becomes a teacher and marries into a rich family. While it may seem that Little Margery was called Goody because she was such a do-gooder, etymologists note that “goody” was once a polite for a poor unmarried woman.

Comprehension Questions

    1. Who is Little Margery Meanwell?
    2. What part of speech is “goody-goody” or “goody two shoes”?
    3. How did the orphan get her nickname?

Discussion Questions: Why are “do-gooders” often perceived in a negative way, especially by those in their youth?

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