[Ads-l] "in a jiffy" 1765

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Tue Jul 24 13:09:00 UTC 2018

Here’s a slight antedating of “in a jiffy.” It may (or may not) be worth noting that this is sea-related and that some later uses are sailor-related. 1765. The Disappointed Coxcomb. A Comedy in Five Acts, by Bartholomew Bourgeois, (via ECCO) page 28 [women want his rings]:

MISS HARTSHORN: But Seaweed, won’t you give your old acquaintance no bauble among the rest–what is this topaz too? (Pointing to one of his rings.

SEAWEED: That is an amethyst, my gull, or a petrified plum, which you will——–Blast ’em, I see I shall be unrigg’d in a jiffy, if I don’t close haul (Aside.

Stephen Goranson


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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