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Skin +‎ -y. The meaning associated with lack of fat or muscle possibly derives from the phrase skin and bones; the meaning associated with nudity refers to the exposed skin.



skinny (comparative skinnier, superlative skinniest)

  1. (informal) thin, generally in a negative sense (as opposed to slim, which is thin in a positive sense).
    Her recent weight loss has made her look rather skinny than slender
  2. (informal, of food or beverages) Low-fat.
    • 1974, National Fruit & Syrup Manufacturers Assn, Dairy & ice cream field, Volume 157, Issues 1-6 (cooking), page 45:
      ...into the skinny chocolate milk?
    • 1982, Mykola Ponedilok, Funny tears: short stories (history), pages 230:
      Also bring me three quarts of ‘skinny’ milk. What the matter, Mr. Kuziavka, have you just fallen from the moon?! Don't you know about ‘skinny’ milk? It's milk, from which the fat has been removed and...
    • 2008, Sydney Bauer, Undertow (fiction), ISBN 042522290X, 9780425222904 Invalid ISBN, pages 436:
      “All right,” said Katz, who, waiting on his skinny milk latte, turned to snap his fingers at the only waiter in the room.
  3. Naked; nude (chiefly used in the phrase skinny dipping).
    • 1972, Robert Woodruff Anderson, Solitaire: Double solitaire, page 53:
      Let's take our clothes oft" and go swimming skinny.
    • 2000, Linda Rogers, Say my name: the memoirs of Charlie Louie, page 25:
      We never swam skinny in the river like the hippy kids on the farm across the railway tracks.
    • 1994, Geoffrey Atheling Wagner, A singular passion: a novel, page 200:
      When I went in again, the desirable alien was in bed with eyelids closed [...], obviously sleeping skinny, to employ her own term for it.
    • 2007, Weston P. Hatfield, The Governor's Choice, page 20:
      with stimulative sybaritic aids ranging from a mountain sunset to a dip — skinny or otherwise — in a heated pool
    • 2008, Kitty Crockett Robertson, Measuring Time - By an Hourglass, page 220:
      She used to swim "skinny" in Sprague's cove in broad daylight, leaving her bathing dress on the float.





skinny (plural skinnies)

  1. (colloquial) The details or facts; especially, those obtained by gossip or rumor.
    She called to get the skinny on the latest goings-on in the club.
  2. A state of nakedness; nudity.
    • 2004, Mr. Skin, Mr. Skin's Skincyclopedia, page 34:
      Again, she appears nude whilst dipping in the skinny, but this time, instead of being eaten by a shark or a bear, she encounters a Japanese submarine
    • 2009, Susan Wittig Albert, Wormwood, page 90:
      "Nobody would bother peeking these days," she said ruefully, "in bathing suits or in the skinny."
  3. (informal) A low-fat serving of coffee.
  4. A skinny being.
    • 1959, Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers, page 10:
      "Either a skinny had judged (correctly) that it was worth one of their buildings to try for one of us, or one of my own mates was getting mighty careless with fireworks" .."A congregation in church — a skinny flophouse — maybe even their defense headquarters. All I knew was that it was a very big room filled with more skinnies than I wanted to see in my whole life."