Real Talk, in which I explain why we say weird things like “plugged nickel” or “cat’s pajamas.” Also, a place where I can send my boyfriend when he asks the meaning of weird phrases like “plugged nickel” or “cat’s pajamas.”
“I am currently in a tiff with life.”
Sorry, kids, but no one really knows where “tiff” comes from. The closest anyone has come to pinning down its etymology is to claim that it’s probably onomatopoeia, signifying a minor disturbance by exhaling quickly and sharply. If we don’t know its origins, I think we should stop saying it. Who knows where it’s been?
(Tiff can also mean to sip alcohol slowly, but who doesn’t prefer tipple?)