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taffy

[taf-ee]
noun
  1. a chewy candy made of sugar or molasses boiled down, often with butter, nuts, etc.
  2. Informal. flattery.
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Also toffee, toffy.

Origin of taffy

First recorded in 1810–20; variant of toffee
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for taffy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This is the test that is made for taffy and other hard candies.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5

    Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • Taffy was the name of this fellow from Denbigh, in Wales, and he was a drover.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • Taffy was not used to such toil, and his muscles were soon weary.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • By this time, Taffy was so eager for treasure, that he spoke up at once.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • There, in the faint, red light, Taffy discerned a great cave.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis


British Dictionary definitions for taffy

taffy

noun plural -fies
  1. US and Canadian a chewy sweet made of brown sugar or molasses and butter, boiled and then pulled so that it becomes glossy
  2. mainly US and Canadian a less common term for toffee
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Word Origin

C19: perhaps from tafia

Taffy

noun plural -fies
  1. a slang word or nickname for a Welshman
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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

Word Origin and History for taffy

n.

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.

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Taffy

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper