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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.
1825, tuffy, toughy, southern British dialectal variant of taffy. Modern spelling first recorded 1862.
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.