or sciv·vy


noun, plural skiv·vies. Informal.

Also called skivvy shirt. a man's cotton T-shirt.
skivvies, underwear consisting of cotton T-shirt and shorts.
a thin sweater with a round neck, usually worn over a blouse, turtleneck, or the like.

Nearby words

  1. skittle out,
  2. skittles,
  3. skive,
  4. skiver,
  5. skivvies,
  6. skiwear,
  7. sklent,
  8. skoal,
  9. skobelev,
  10. skodaic resonance

Origin of skivvy

First recorded in 1925–30; origin uncertain


[skiv-ee]British Disparaging.

noun, plural skiv·vies.

a female servant, especially a chambermaid.

verb (used without object), skiv·vied, skiv·vy·ing.

to work as a skivvy.

Origin of skivvy

First recorded in 1910–15; origin uncertain

Usage note

This term is used with disparaging intent, implying the low rank of such a servant. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skivvies

British Dictionary definitions for skivvies



noun plural -vies

mainly British often derogatory a servant, esp a female, who does menial work of all kinds; drudge

verb -vies, -vying or -vied

(intr) British to work as a skivvy

Word Origin for skivvy

C20: of unknown origin



noun plural -vies

slang, mainly US a man's T-shirt or vest
(plural) slang, mainly US men's underwear
Australian and NZ a garment resembling a sweater with long sleeves and a polo neck, usually made of stretch cotton or cotton and polyester and worn by either sex

Word Origin for skivvy

of unknown origin

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 skivvies



"underwear," 1932, nautical slang, of unknown origin. An earlier skivvy/skivey was London slang for "female domestic servant" (1902).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper