skivvy

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English[edit]

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Noun[edit]

skivvy (plural skivvies)

  1. (dated) A female domestic servant, especially one employed for menial work.
    • 1974, Simon Raven, Bring Forth the Body, Alms for Oblivion, Volume 3, 2012, page 194,
      And then Somerset looked at the boys′ skivvy, and saw a well set up young woman with a red round face, an angry face just then but underneath the anger a pleasant one.
    • 2002, Krzysztof Miklaszewski, George M. Hyde (translator, editor), Encounters with Tadeusz Kantor, page 143,
      The common skivvy from the mortuary clings immoveably to the priest′s bed, which is just as immoveably guarded by the grandmother, who drives her off with a chamberpot. The skivvy is the photographer′s widow, trying to take a picture.
    • 2005, Jenny Telfer Chaplin, The Widow of Candleriggs, unnumbered page,
      [] Yes, that was Mac′s Restaurant and I was a kitchen skivvy there, but amazingly, a kitchen skivvy who had actually written a poem. Oh it′s all a very long time ago, Theresa, and so much has happened since then.”
  2. (military slang, Vietnam War) A prostitute.
  3. (Australia, New Zealand) A close-fitting, long-sleeved t-shirt with a rolled collar.
    • 1998, Tom Byron, The History of Spearfishing and Scuba Diving in Australia, page 191,
      I put my wetsuit and skivvy on a tree to dry, and laid out my other gear on some grass.
    • 2005, Randa Abdel-Fattah, Does My Head Look Big in This?, page 224,
      ‘He looks so good. He shouldn′t be allowed to wear a black skivvy. Doesn′t he have the most amazing muscles?’
    • 2006, Iain McIntyre, Tomorrow Is Today: Australia in the Psychedelic Era, 1966-1970, page 41,
      The button-down shirts and plain coloured skivvies were replaced by beads, fringed shawls and loose fitting Asian-style tops.

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