The quiff is a hairstyle that combines the 1950s pompadour hairstyle, the 50s flattop, and sometimes a mohawk. The etymology of the word is uncertain but may derive from the French word "coiffe" which can mean either a hairstyle or, going further back, the mail knights wore over their heads and under their helmets. The hairstyle was a staple in the British 'Teddy Boy' movement, but became popular again in Europe in the early 1980s with early psychobilly acts including The Meteors, Demented Are Go, and others. For a while, DJ and TV presenter Mark Lamarr was a famous proponent of the quiff.

The hairstyle, although prominent in the 80s, faded into obscurity except among ardent 80s culture fans. The quiff saw a revival in the late 90s, due to the advent of the French crop, a modern version of the quiff, and continues through today.

The Japanese Punch perm, a favorite among Yakuza and Bōsōzoku (biker gang) members, bears a strong similarity to this hairstyle.

Notable quiffs

*Elvis Presley, music icon
*Morrissey, British singer formerly of The Smiths, well-known for his trademark quiff
*Mark Kermode, film critic famed for his '50s style quiff
*Brian Setzer of the group Stray Cats
*Joe Strummer of The Clash
*Tintin, classic comic book character
*Ken Barlow, fictional character on the British soap opera Coronation Street, played by William Roache
*Martin Fry of ABC, famous for his unique quiff
*Mikey Way, bassist of My Chemical Romance
*Rob Schneider from "Saturday Night Live"
*Dom Joly, comedian
*Biff Tannen, "Back to the Future"
*Itamar Franco, former Brazilian president
*Greg William Foster, McCain sponger and dedicated follower of fashion.

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  • quiff — curl or lock of hair over the forehead, 1890, originally a style among soldiers, of unknown origin. Perhaps connected with quiff a puff or whiff of tobacco smoke (1831, originally Southern U.S.), held to be a variant of whiff (q.v.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • quiff — [kwıf] n BrE a part of a man s hair style where the hair stands up at the front above his forehead …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • quiff — [ kwıf ] noun count BRITISH the front part of a man s hair shaped so that it is higher than the rest …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • quiff — ► NOUN chiefly Brit. ▪ a tuft of hair, brushed upwards and backwards from a man s forehead. ORIGIN of unknown origin …   English terms dictionary

  • quiff — ☆ quiff quiff1 [kwif] n. [< ?] [Chiefly Brit.] a lock or tuft of hair; esp., a forelock quiff2 [kwif] n. [orig. Brit navy slang < ? ] [Vulgar Slang] a sexually promiscuous woman …   English World dictionary

  • quiff — n 1. British a pompadour hairstyle, kiss curl or backcombed fringe. The quiff was fashionable with teddy boys and rockers among others. 2. British a male homosexual or effemi nate male. The usage is probably influ enced by the words queer and… …   Contemporary slang

  • quiff — [[t]kwɪ̱f[/t]] quiffs N COUNT If a man has a quiff, his hair has been combed upwards and backwards from his forehead. [mainly BRIT] I attempted a classic rock and roll quiff …   English dictionary

  • quiff — UK [kwɪf] / US noun [countable] Word forms quiff : singular quiff plural quiffs British the front part of a man s hair shaped so that it is higher than the rest …   English dictionary

  • quiff — quiff1 /kwif/, n., pl. quiff, quiffs. Slang. a woman, esp. one who is promiscuous. [1920 25; orig. uncert.] quiff2 /kwif/, n. Brit. a lock or curl of hair brought forward over the forehead. [1885 90; orig. uncert.] * * * …   Universalium

  • quiff — noun Etymology: origin unknown Date: circa 1890 British a prominent forelock …   New Collegiate Dictionary