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Spiffy

Spiffy is an American term that first appeared in the mid-1800s, though its origin is not certain. We will examine the meaning of the word spiffy, where it possibly came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Spiffy means stylish, smartly dressed, attractive, dapper or new. The word spiffy originated during the middle of the nineteenth century in America, related words are spiffier, spiffiest, spiffily, spiffiness. The word spiffy may be derived from the obsolete slang word spiflicate, which means to completely overwhelm. Another possible origin is the word spiff, which is a term for the extra yardage allowed on an end-of-bolt or end-of-season piece of material. In any case, spiffy is probably related to the use of the word spiff to mean a well-dressed man. Though originally used to describe being sharply dressed, the word spiffy may be used today to signify anything stylish, attractive or new.

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Examples

The white palazzo-saree was a spiffy attire with a dainty, black-beige, floral print adorning the saree part of the ensemble, beautifully off-set against the flawless, white chiffon. (India Today)

This Sunday at the Vic, in Chicago, Hodgson emcees a live touring edition of the program starring Jonah Ray, the headliner of the spiffy (but not too) new Netflix iteration of “MST3K.” (The Chicago Tribune)

A group of clinics around town now boast spiffy, homey interiors that help patients feel more at ease when it comes to medical appointments — all in an effort to make them feel healthy, not sick. (The New York Post)

The Tobs, in their only 2017 encounter against a Coastal Plain League West Division opponent, arguably embarrassed themselves after a spiffy start in a 15-3 summer collegiate baseball loss to the Martinsville Mustangs. (The Wilson Times)

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