flaky

or flak·ey

[ fley-kee ]
/ ˈfleɪ ki /

adjective, flak·i·er, flak·i·est.

of or like flakes.
lying or cleaving off in flakes or layers.
Slang. eccentric; wacky; dizzy: a flaky math professor.

Origin of flaky

1570–80; 1965–70 for def 3; flake1 + -y1; sense of def. 3 probably flake4 + -y1, though influenced by flake1
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for flaky

flaky

/ (ˈfleɪkɪ) /

adjective flakier or flakiest

like or made of flakes
tending to peel off or break easily into flakes
Also: flakey US slang eccentric; crazy
Derived Formsflakily, adverbflakiness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for flaky

flaky


adj.

1570s, from flake + -y (2). Meaning "eccentric, crazy" first recorded 1959, said to be American English baseball slang, but probably from earlier druggie slang flake "cocaine" (1920s). Flake "eccentric person" is a 1968 back-formation from it.

The term 'flake' needs explanation. It's an insider's word, used throughout baseball, usually as an adjective; someone is considered 'flaky.' It does not mean anything so crude as 'crazy,' but it's well beyond 'screwball' and far off to the side of 'eccentric.' ["New York Times," April 26, 1964]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper