noun Etymology: alteration of English dialect spiff flashy dresser, from spiff dandified Date: circa 1934 1. British a man who lives by his wits without regular employment 2. British slacker 1 • spivvy adjective, British

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spiv — is a British word for a particular kind of petty criminal, who deals in stolen goods or fraudulent sales, especially a well dressed man offering goods at bargain prices. The goods are generally not what they seem or have been obtained illegally.… …   Wikipedia

  • spiv — petty crook who will turn his hand to anything so long as it does not involve honest work, 1934, British slang, probably dating back to late 19c. and connected with spiff (see SPIFFY (Cf. spiffy)) in one of its various senses. Being a flashy… …   Etymology dictionary

  • spiv — spiv; spiv·ery; spiv·very; …   English syllables

  • spiv — [spıv] n BrE old fashioned a man who gets money from small dishonest business deals …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • spiv — a 20c British colloquial expression for ‘a man characterized by flashy dress, who makes a living by illicit or unscrupulous dealings’, emulates the American genius for inventing short words (e.g. blurb, stunt) whose sound is curiously suited to… …   Modern English usage

  • spiv — [spiv] n. [prob. var. of spiff: see SPIFFY] [Brit. Slang] a man who lives by his wits, without doing any regular or honest work, esp. one engaged in petty, shady dealings …   English World dictionary

  • spiv — /spiv/, n. Brit. Informal. a petty criminal, esp. a black marketeer, racetrack tout, or petty thief. [1885 90; back formation from dial. spiving smart; perh. akin to SPIFFY] * * * …   Universalium

  • spiv — ► NOUN Brit. informal ▪ a flashily dressed man who makes a living by disreputable dealings. DERIVATIVES spivvish adjective spivvy adjective. ORIGIN perhaps related to SPIFFY(Cf. ↑S) …   English terms dictionary

  • spiv — n British a disreputable, flashy male, typically one who lives by shady dealing rather than orthodox work. This word had existed in the jargon of race track habitues and petty criminals since the late 19th cen tury, but came into its own after… …   Contemporary slang

  • spiv — UK [spɪv] / US noun [countable] Word forms spiv : singular spiv plural spivs British informal old fashioned 1) an insulting word for a working class man who dresses in fashionable or expensive clothes in order to impress people 2) an insulting… …   English dictionary

  • spiv — n Slick con man. Some worthless spiv married Myrtle, took her money, and left her. 1930s …   Historical dictionary of American slang

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