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spiff1

[spif] /spɪf/
verb (used with object), Informal.
1.
to make spiffy (usually followed by up):
Let's spiff up this office with new furniture.
Origin
1875-1880
1875-80; perhaps v. use of dial. spiff well-dressed; see spiffy

spiff2

[spif] /spɪf/
noun
1.
a bonus or other form of remuneration given to retail salespeople for promoting the products of a particular manufacturer.
verb (used with object)
2.
to reward (a salesperson) with a spiff.
Origin
1855-60; origin uncertain

spiffy

[spif-ee] /ˈspɪf i/
adjective, spiffier, spiffiest. Informal.
1.
spruce; smart; fine.
Also, spiffing
[spif-ing] /ˈspɪf ɪŋ/ (Show IPA).
especially British, spivvy, spivving.
Origin
1855-60; dial. spiff well-dressed (origin uncertain) + -y1
Related forms
spiffily, adverb
spiffiness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for spiffing

spiffing

/ˈspɪfɪŋ/
adjective
1.
(Brit, slang, old-fashioned) excellent; splendid
Word Origin
C19: probably from dialect spiff spruce, smartly dressed

spiffy

/ˈspɪfɪ/
adjective -fier, -fiest
1.
(US & Canadian, slang) smart; stylish
Derived Forms
spiffily, adverb
spiffiness, noun
Word Origin
C19: from dialect spiff
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 spiffing

spiffy

adj.

1853, of uncertain origin, probably related to spiff "well-dressed man." Spiffing "excellent" was very popular in 1870s slang. Uncertain relationship to spiff (n.) "percentage allowed by drapers to their young men when they effect sale of old fashioned or undesirable stock" (1859), or to spiflicate "confound, overcome completely," a cant word from 1749 preserved in American English slang spiflicated "drunk," first recorded 1906 in O.Henry.

spiff

v.

"make neat or spruce," 1877 (with up or out), probably from spiffy (q.v.). Related: Spiffed; spiffing.

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

spiffed out

adjective phrase

Fancily and formally dressed (1877+)


spiel

noun
  1. A barker's or hawker's persuasive talk (1896+)
  2. A speech meant to persuade by force and eloquence; a sales patter; line: I'll give his honor a spiel (1896+)
  3. An advertising monologue on radio or television (1940s+)

[fr German spielen, ''play'']


spiffing

adjective

spiffy (1872+)


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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17
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