a chewy candy made of sugar or molasses boiled down, often with butter, nuts, etc.
Informal. flattery.
Also, toffee, toffy.

1810–20; variant of toffee

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To taffy
World English Dictionary
taffy (ˈtæfɪ)
n , pl -fies
1.  (US), (Canadian) a chewy sweet made of brown sugar or molasses and butter, boiled and then pulled so that it becomes glossy
2.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) a less common term for toffee
[C19: perhaps from tafia]

Taffy (ˈtæfɪ)
n , pl -fies
a slang word or nickname for a Welshman
[C17: from the supposed Welsh pronunciation of Davy (from David, Welsh Dafydd), a common Welsh Christian name]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

candy made from sugar or molasses, 1817, related to toffee, but of uncertain origin; perhaps associated with tafia (1763), a rum-like alcoholic liquor distilled from molasses, presumably of W.Indian or Malay origin (perhaps a Creole shortening of
ratafia). On this theory, the candy would have been made from the syrup skimmed off the liquor during distillation.

characteristic name of a Welshman, c.1700, from Teifi, Welsh corruption of David (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


flavoured syrup candy of Europe and the Americas that is cooked and then rigorously worked during cooling into a hard, chewy, glossy mass. Although the great 19th-century demand for taffy gave way in the mid-20th century to the popularity of chocolates and caramels, taffy remained widely available in its original "penny candy" form of small, colourfully wrapped pieces.

Learn more about taffy with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Taffy, caramel and nougat stick to teeth longer than plain chocolates.
All she wanted was something to eat maybe a hot dog and fries followed by a piece of salt water taffy for dessert.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature