Non-hair quiffs

Commenter John yesterday on my “whoopee cushion” posting:

So the point of intersection of “making whoopie” and “razzberry” is quiff?

Well, it turns out that in addition to quiff referring to a hair style (first discussed in this blog here), it has plenty of other senses. What I said in that first quiff posting was:

(Quiff is a word that sounds like it ought to be at least naughty, if not actually coarse slang — “his quiff in her quim”, something like that — and indeed a huge variety of slang senses have been reported. Apparently, it’s just one of those dirty-sounding words that can get pressed into service for any old off-color meaning. Including as an onomatopoetic verb meaning ‘fart’.)

Green’s Dictionary of Slang lists quite a variety of meanings, and Urban Dictionary adds more.

From Green, on the noun quiff in anatomical or sexual senses:

1 the vagina [cites from c.1709 through 2001]

2 women, esp. sexually available ones [cites from c.1930 through 2002] [a common metonymic shift from sense 1]

3 (US) a homosexual [cites from 1950 through 1980] [another common shift, metaphorical in character, from ‘woman’ to ‘homosexual man’]

And it has the verb quiff ‘to have sexual intercourse’ (cites from 1674 though 1811 — so now obsolete).

(Compare quim, with the senses ‘the vagina’; ‘a woman; women collectively viewed in a sexual context’; (US gay) ‘the anus’; (US gay/prison) ‘a heterosexual inmate, subject to homosexual rape’; ‘a general derog. term of abuse’ — this last a common sense-development from ‘woman’ or ‘homosexual male’.)

Urban Dictionary has the sense that my commenter John was presumably alluding to, combining vaginal sex (making whoopee / whoopie) and farting (the razzberry); in one formulation:

Air admitting from the vagina mixed with bodily fluid making a farting sound.. otherwise known as the pussy fart.

Other entries have the hairstyle, plus ‘fart’, ‘vagina’, ‘slut, prostitute’, ‘homosexual man’, and a generic derogatory.

2 Responses to “Non-hair quiffs”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From John Dorrance on Facebook:

    Based on my experience, the word’s only been used for vaginal farts. And I’ve seen ‘queef’ as a common spelling variant.

    Other sources have the variant spelling as well.

  2. Crowdsourced lexicography | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] to who uses them in what contexts for what purposes. (See my comments on the many uses of quiff here.) In addition, a huge number of very frequent nouns, verbs, and adjectives have slang uses as well […]

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