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Re: Spiffing

Posted by R. Berg on May 06, 2002

In Reply to: Spiffing posted by Linda Edwards on May 06, 2002

: After a weekend of rain, my husband and I both made the same remark when we saw bright sunshine on Monday morning - "spiffing" !
:
: Anyone know where this comes from ?

The Oxford English Dictionary labels it "colloq. and dial." and defines it as "Excellent, first-rate, very good, etc.; fine or smart in . . . dress and appearance." The first quotation illustrating its use is dated 1872. Dictionary says "Cf. next [i.e., spiffy] and such forms as 'rattling,' 'ripping,' 'topping, etc.]."
For "spiffy," it also says "colloq. and dial." "Of obscure origin; the shorter form 'spiff' is recorded in dialect use from 1862."