9 Grammatical Pitfalls


noun (pl) -fies
(slang) an erection of the penis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Slang definitions & phrases for stiffy


  1. Drunk: when the regular piano player got stiff and fell from the stool (1737+)
  2. Forged; phony: ''I put over a couple of stiff ones'' is the way a paper-hanger describes an operation (1940s+ Underworld)
  1. A drunken person: Robbing a drunken man they call ''rolling a stiff'' (1907+)
  2. (also stiffie) A corpse: a final chapter narrated by the stiff/ So we scope out the stiffie and everybody says you know, like it was too bad (1859+)
  3. A hobo; tramp; vagabond: He bore none of the earmarks of the professional ''stiff '' (1900+)
  4. A migratory worker; okie (1899+)
  5. A working man or woman; a nonclerical and nonprofessional employee; working stiff: Coolidge always seemed unreal to the ordinary stiff (1930+)
  6. A clandestine letter, esp one passed around among prisoners (1889+ Underworld)
  7. A forged check, banknote, etc (1823+ Underworld)
  8. A team, fighter, contestant, etc, that is bound to lose; esp, a race horse that will not, cannot, or is not permitted to win: There is also a rumor that Follow You is a stiff in the race (1890+)
  9. Any failure; flop, turkey: gets a million dollars worth of hype, and I hear it's a stiff (1960s+)
  10. A person who ''stiffs'' a waiter: The maitre d', knowing a stiff when he saw one, shrugged
  1. To cause a horse to lose a race: He admitted that he himself had stiffed horses for a fee (1940s+ Horse racing)
  2. To fail to tip a waiter or other employee: But he was slow about getting our orders, so we stiffed him/ who not only stiffs waiters and cab drivers, but golf caddies as well (1939+)
  3. To cheat, esp out of money, fair wages, etc: The company defends its plan as a business decision and denies it was trying to stiff the women/ which creditors he could stiff, which he could stall, which had to be paid at once (1950+)
  4. To swindle; defraud; scam: Some of the lessons were not as palatable, though, such as the one about a young woman who stiffed him/ In other words, New York City got stiffed (1950+)
  5. To kill; off: Nobody was supposed to stiff a member of the family the way Vinnie had stiffed his niece's boy (1974+)
  6. (also stiff-arm) To treat unfairly and harshly; rebuff or push aside brutally: He had stiffed a Philadelphia charity golf tournament without explanation/ didn't want to stiff him or send him sniffing along false trails/ I'll just stiff-arm them (1973+)
Related Terms

big stiff, bindlestiff, bored stiff, knock someone out, scared stiff

[the underworld senses having to do with forged and clandestine papers, cheating, etc, are derived fr an early 1800s British sense, ''paper, a document,'' probably based on the stiffness of official documents and document paper; the senses having to do with failure, etc, are related to the stiffness of a corpse; the sense of harsh snubbing, etc, is fr the stiff-arm in football, where a player, usually a runner, straightens out his arm and pushes it directly into the face or body of an intending tackler]

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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stiffy in Technology
storage, jargon
(University of Lowell, Massachusetts) A 3.5-inch microfloppy, so called because their jackets are more rigid than those of the 5.25-inch and the (obsolete) 8-inch floppy disk. Elsewhere this might be called a "firmy".
[Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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