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taffy

[taf-ee] /ˈtæf i/
noun
1.
a chewy candy made of sugar or molasses boiled down, often with butter, nuts, etc.
2.
Informal. flattery.
Also, toffee, toffy.
Origin
1810-1820
1810-20; variant of toffee

toffee

[taw-fee, tof-ee] /ˈtɔ fi, ˈtɒf i/
noun
1.
Also, toffy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for toffy

toffee

/ˈtɒfɪ/
noun (pl) -fees, -fies
1.
a sweet made from sugar or treacle boiled with butter, nuts, etc
2.
(preceded by can't) (informal) for toffee, to be incompetent at a specified activity: he can't sing for toffee
Word Origin
C19: variant of earlier taffy

taffy

/ˈtæfɪ/
noun (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.
(mainly US & Canadian) a less common term for toffee
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from tafia

Taffy

/ˈtæfɪ/
noun (pl) -fies
1.
a slang word or nickname for a Welshman
Word Origin
C17: from the supposed Welsh pronunciation of Davy (from David, Welsh Dafydd), a common Welsh Christian name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for toffy

taffy

n.

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.

toffee

n.

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

Taffy

characteristic name of a Welshman, c.1700, from Teifi, Welsh corruption of David (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for toffy

taffy

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.
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