Advertisements

Word of the Week

I really like the sound and meaning of this week’s word:

quiff: n.2 ‘A clever trick, ploy, or stratagem to achieve a desired end, esp. by unorthodox, irregular, or time-saving means; a dodge; a tip.’

Pronunciation: Brit. /kwɪf/, U.S. /kwɪf/
Forms: 18– quiff, 19– queef Sc., 19– quift Eng. regional (Lincs.), 19– whiff Eng. regional (Herts.).
Etymology:Origin unknown.
regional and slang (esp. Naut.).
A clever trick, ploy, or stratagem to achieve a desired end, esp. by unorthodox, irregular, or time-saving means; a dodge; a tip.

  • 1881 Advertiser Notes & Queries I. 77/2 Quiff. What is the origin of this word, so often used in the sentence, ‘I’ll teach thee a quiff’, meaning something clever. It is often heard in Cheshire.
  • 1890 A. Barrère & C. G. Leland Dict. Slang II. 164 Quiff..(Tailors), a word used in expressing an idea that a satisfactory result may be obtained by other than strictly recognised rules or principles
  • 1925 E. Fraser & J. Gibbons Soldier & Sailor Words 223 Quiff, any specially ingenious smart, tricky, or novel or improvised way of doing anything. (Navy). In the Army used of any drill method peculiar to a battalion, and not usually done in others. Where the wording of the Drill Book is vague, units often read different meanings into the phraseology and invent their own ‘Quiffs’.
  • 1925 N. Lucas Autobiogr. Crook v. 72 I’ll give you one quiff, right now, because I like your face and your nerve. Never touch the dope, it’s hell—and worse than that.
  • 1928 Weekly Dispatch 13 May 10/4 Suddenly a faint grey blur on the horizon in the expected direction. The seaman blinks his eyes—an old quiff which prevents many a false alarm—and then makes his report.
  • 1933 J. Masefield Bird of Dawning 107 It was young Mr. Abbott worked that quiff on you, sir.
  • 1961 F. H. Burgess Dict. Sailing 166 Quiff, a trick or artifice that makes a job easier.
  • 1996 C. I. Macafee Conc. Ulster Dict. 266/2 Quiff, a trick; a dodge.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Disclaimer

Dear Fellows, The State Department has requested that any Fellows who maintain their own blog or website please post the following disclaimer on your site: "This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the English Language Fellows' own and do not represent the English Language Fellow Program or the U.S. Department of State." We appreciate your cooperation. Site Meter
%d bloggers like this: