spiv

Discuss word origins and meanings.
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spiv

Post by Bobinwales » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:19 pm

It is quite amazing that you can go years without hearing a word and then it crops up several times in a very short time.

WoZ described someone from his past as a spiv when we were field testing some sort of amber liquid in a pub in Newcastle NSW, and since then I have heard it twice on television.

Apparently spiv derives from spiffy, and that connects to spifflicate which according to the sources I found means drunk in the US and what happened to me when I was a naughty boy, before corporal punishment became non-pc.

Everyone agrees however that a spiv is a bloke who is a flashy dresser and makes a living by nefarious means.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: spiv

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:45 am

There's a pretty thorough and interesting, but inconclusive as regards true etymology, article at Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiv ), but I'm betting Ken has further sources.
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Re: spiv

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:19 pm

aaa
Edwin, I’m afraid that according to all the sources I checked we’re stuck with the dreaded ‘origin uncertain.’ (>:) The best discussion I was able to find was in Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words here.
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Ken – April 7, 2013
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