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  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /kwɪf/, [kʰw̥ɪf]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪf

Etymology 1[edit]

Variant form of whiff.


quiff (plural quiffs)

  1. (British dialect) A puff or whiff, especially of tobacco smoke.

Etymology 2[edit]



quiff (plural quiffs)

  1. (regional, slang) A trick or ploy; a stratagem. [from 19th c.]
    • 1933, John Masefield, The Bird of Dawning:
      It was young Mr. Abbott worked that quiff on you, sir.

Etymology 3[edit]

Uncertain; perhaps a variant of coif.


quiff (plural quiffs)

  1. (UK) A hairstyle whereby the forelock is brushed and/or gelled upward, often associated with the styles of the 1950s. [from 19th c.]
    • 2012 September 2, Tom Lamont, The Observer:
      His woolly brown hair shaped into a drooping quiff, he's been sitting poolside all morning, snatching sucks on cigarettes before the waiters can tell him no, and thinking about reworking some incidental music for the band's gig tomorrow.


quiff (third-person singular simple present quiffs, present participle quiffing, simple past and past participle quiffed)

  1. (UK) To arrange (the hair) in such a manner. [from 20th c.]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

Probably variant of coif (vulva).


quiff (plural quiffs)

  1. (slang) A young girl, especially as promiscuous; a prostitute. [from 20th c.]
    • 1949, John O'Hara, A Rage to Live, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, page 193:
      How would I get an African toothache when the closest I been to a quiff in over a month is sitting next to one?
  2. (slang) The vulva or vagina. [from 20th c.]
    • 1970, Stephen Longstreet, Nell Kimball: Her Life as an American Madam, Macmillan, →ISBN, page 145:
      As for whores—they are sometimes daughters of fine homes peddling their quim and quiff for a thumbnail of cocaine or a tot of rot-gut whiskey.
    • 2000, J. G. Ballard, Super-Cannes, Fourth Estate, published 2011, page 120:
      Jane was drying herself in the bedroom, holding the bath towel behind her shoulders, her small breasts and childlike nipples flushed from the power jet, her quiff a barely visible thread.

Further reading[edit]