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[taf-ee] /ˈtæf i/
a chewy candy made of sugar or molasses boiled down, often with butter, nuts, etc.
Informal. flattery.
Also, toffee, toffy.
Origin of taffy
First recorded in 1810-20; variant of toffee Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for taffy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was the cleverest man I ever knew, and the best—except taffy and the Laird and your dear son!

    Trilby George Du Maurier
  • A murmur reached him that it was taffy Jones who had thus been dismembered.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • For several days we did the same thing until taffy was afraid at sight of Little Billee.

  • Most of them prefer to draw pictures and play about with their Daddies—just like taffy.

    Just So Stories Rudyard Kipling
  • And you—well, I'm not giving you taffy to tickle your vanity, but you'd lavish your last cent on a wife of your choice.

    The Cottage of Delight Will N. Harben
British Dictionary definitions for taffy


noun (pl) -fies
(US & Canadian) a chewy sweet made of brown sugar or molasses and butter, boiled and then pulled so that it becomes glossy
(mainly US & Canadian) a less common term for toffee
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from tafia


noun (pl) -fies
a slang word or nickname for a Welshman
Word Origin
C17: from the supposed Welsh pronunciation of Davy (from David, Welsh Dafydd), a common Welsh Christian name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for taffy

candy made from sugar or molasses, 1817, related to toffee, but of uncertain origin; perhaps associated with tafia (1763), a rum-like alcoholic liquor distilled from molasses, presumably of W.Indian or Malay origin (perhaps a Creole shortening of ratafia). On this theory, the candy would have been made from the syrup skimmed off the liquor during distillation.


characteristic name of a Welshman, c.1700, from Teifi, Welsh corruption of David (q.v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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