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or flakey

[fley-kee] /ˈfleɪ ki/
adjective, flakier, flakiest.
of or like flakes.
lying or cleaving off in flakes or layers.
Slang. eccentric; wacky; dizzy:
a flaky math professor.
Origin of flaky
1570-80; 1965-70 for def 3; flake1 + -y1; sense of def. 3 probably flake4 + -y1, though influenced by flake1
Related forms
flakily, adverb
flakiness, noun
nonflakily, adverb
nonflakilyness, noun
nonflaky, adjective
unflaky, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for flaky


adjective flakier, flakiest
like or made of flakes
tending to peel off or break easily into flakes
(US, slang) Also flakey. eccentric; crazy
Derived Forms
flakily, adverb
flakiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for flaky

1570s, from flake + -y (2). Meaning "eccentric, crazy" first recorded 1959, said to be American English baseball slang, but probably from earlier druggie slang flake "cocaine" (1920s). Flake "eccentric person" is a 1968 back-formation from it.

The term 'flake' needs explanation. It's an insider's word, used throughout baseball, usually as an adjective; someone is considered 'flaky.' It does not mean anything so crude as 'crazy,' but it's well beyond 'screwball' and far off to the side of 'eccentric.' ["New York Times," April 26, 1964]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for flaky



  1. Colorfully eccentric; uoyantly individualisti (1960s+ Baseball)
  2. Insane; screwy, wacky: a flaky old professor, a snake expert (1960s+)
  3. Disoriented; barely conscious; dizzy: He played the last 23 minutes of the game in a condition that was described as ''flaky'' and ''fuzzy'' (1960s+)

Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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flaky in Technology

(Or "flakey") Subject to frequent lossage. This use is of course related to the common slang use of the word to describe a person as eccentric, crazy, or just unreliable. A system that is flaky is working, sort of - enough that you are tempted to try to use it - but fails frequently enough that the odds in favour of finishing what you start are low. Commonwealth hackish prefers dodgy.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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