tiffy, noun

Forms:
Also tiffie.
Origin:
British EnglishShow more Transferred uses of British English tiffy an engine room artisan (Royal Navy slang, from late 1890s).
military slang
1. In the defence forces, a member of the Technical Services Corps, a mechanic.
1975 J.H. Picard in Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.6 May 37In the workshops some of the technicians or tiffies may feel sterk about their girl-friends at home.
1975 Scope 10 Jan.So you’ve finished..cleaning your gatt, squaring off your bed,..pushing beat..bribing a tiffy to fix your cab.
1977 Sunday Times 7 Aug. (TV Suppl.) 1Other stories they have lined up for the series concern the ‘tiffies’ (army slang for mechanics, believed to be derived from the British army term, ‘artificers’).
1979 Grocott’s Mail 19 June 3Sgt. Major Fred Hattingh who was well known as the ‘boss of the tiffies’ joined the Permanent Force in 1954. He was stationed at 6 SAI for most of his 24 years of service.
1985 Cape Times 18 Dec.The Technical Services Corps ‘tiffies’ can make anything run.
1989 You 6 Apr. 7Everybody wants to be drivers, tiffies, medics and so on, and nobody wants to be a chef.
2. Used loosely, with defining words to designate men with particular occupations in the forces:
kop-tiffy /ˈkɔp-/ [Afrikaans kop head], a psychiatrist, people-tiffy or pill-tiffy, a doctor or medical official;
pot-tiffy, an army cook;
soul-tiffy, a chaplain, teeth-tiffy, a dentist, etc.
1978 A.P. Brink Rumours of Rain 318When church parade was called the Sunday morning...There was a new soul-tiffy to do the job for us. You know, we used to call the mechanics ‘tiffies’, so the doctor was a ‘cock-tiffy’ and the chaplain a ‘soul-tiffy’.
1979 Sunday Times 12 Aug. 7Hey pot-tiffie. Lez trek to the cuca shop.
1984 Cape Times 18 JulyAll hope is not yet gone for SADF medical and dental officers who have lost out on the recent 12 percent pay hike for national servicemen...‘An investigation into the remuneration of all Citizen Force members..is still in progress’...In other words, the people tiffies must vasbyt.
1988 W. Steenkamp in Cape Times 6 Apr.The ‘tears tiffie’ virtually went around drumming up business. The result was a rash of welfare problems among people who had not given it a thought before then. As a cultural note, let me add that in the SADF psychiatrists are sometimes referred to as ‘kop-tiffies’, or head mechanics. This is in line with similar terms like ‘people tiffies’ (doctors), ‘bedpan tiffies’ (medical orderlies) and ‘teeth tiffies’ (dentists).
1988 Cape Times 25 June 19They should have strekked one of the gun-tiffies, who is a total vuil uil.
In the defence forces, a member of the Technical Services Corps, a mechanic.

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19751989