About This Word

giffy

[jif-fee] or [gif-ee]

What does giffy mean?

giffy is a colloquial term of endearment for a gift (card), girlfriend, or GIF image. It's also a common misspelling of jiffy

 

Where does giffy come from?

Giffy has long been a misspelling for jiffy, a term for a "short period of time" dating back to the 1780s. We can find this misspelling in literary texts by the 1840s, the confusion due to the use of G for both hard and soft G sounds. As jiffy probably originates as a slang term, it seems unlikely that the word started out with any formal spelling.

Fast-forward to the 2000–10s and various new senses of giffy start appearing. As entered on Urban Dictionary in 2007 and seen on Twitter in 2008, giffy emerges as a shortened term of endearment for a girlfriend, likely based on that word's abbreviation in internet slang as GF and modeled on wifey. Another sense of giffy spreading around this is as a clipped nickname for a gift of gift card.

With the rise of the animated images online, giffy also emerges as an affectionate term for a GIF (or gif, "graphic interface format"). Since 2013, Giphy has been a leading database for GIFs. As people commonly misspell the website as Giffy, a search for giffy.com will automatically direct the user to giphy.com.

Who uses giffy?

All senses of giffy are mainly used in social media. Given its principal currency online, the intended pronunciation of giffy isn't always clear outside of its confusion for jiffy. We can reasonably conclude giffy for girlfriend and gift begins with a hard G and giffy for GIF varies in pronunciation, as people say GIF with a hard and soft G (the latter insisted upon by its inventor).

As a misspelling of jiffy, giffy is used just like its official counterpart, mostly appearing in the phrase "in a giffy."

On social media, giffy is more commonly used by young women and black communities, the term usually conveying excitement upon receiving a present. Young men favor giffy, using it for affection, intimacy, or cuteness.

The acronym, GIFFY, short for gay in five fucking years, is very occasionally used as a more intensive form of GIFY, gay in five years, a derogatory slang term for a man who identifies as straight but exhibits behaviors stereotyped as gay, implying the individual will come out as gay relatively soon.

For example

Somebody give me a giffy for uber 😢😢😢😢😢😂

@ilyGABY, December, 2016

Giffy time. Reply with 1 GIF to describe how you'll feel when #Trump is finally impeached for #TrumpRussia...

@SaysAofBlades, March, 2018

Today we will be teaching you how to make carrot cake. Get your pen and paper ready, we will be back in a giffy.

@Bunmicakes, December, 2014

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