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proprietary name of a brand of cigarette lighter, patented 1934 by Zippo Manufacturing Co., Bradford, Pa.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the web for zippo
  • In every movie, one or two characters have a zippo lighter mr.
Slang definitions & phrases for zippo

zip 1

  1. A mark or grade of zero
  2. Zero; nothing; a score of zero; zilch: People aren't exactly beating down the doors to buy California port. ''The market is zip, zero, and not too much''/ dipped into your moneybag and found zippo
Related Terms

not give a damn, not know beans

[1900+ Students; like zilch, probably coined from a familiar word beginning with z]

zip 2


Energy; vitality; vim; pizzazz, zing: There is a zip and a zing here/ bounced back with the real zippo

[1900+; echoic of the sound of something swishing rapidly through the air, giving an impression of force, and also of the tearing of cloth; such a use is attested fr 1875]



To set something on fire; ignite something

[1970s+ Army; fr Zippo, trademark of a cigarette lighter, probably fr the sound made as one turns the sparking wheel, and the speed with which the lighter ignites]

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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