Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
c.1300, "amorous playing, sport," later "piece of fun or entertainment" (c.1500), "thing of little value, trifle" (1520s), and "thing for a child to play with" (1580s). Of uncertain origin, and there may be more than one word here. Cf. Middle Dutch toy, Dutch tuig "tools, apparatus, stuff, trash," in speeltuig "play-toy, plaything;" German Zeug "stuff, matter, tools," Spielzeug "plaything, toy;" Danish tøi, Swedish tyg "stuff, gear."
1520s, from toy (n.).
If he be merie and toy with any,Related: Toyed; toying.
His wife will frowne, and words geve manye.
["Song of the Bachelor's Life," 16c.]