13 February 2009


This word came to me from a poem. There were several other words in the poem that I classified as "interesting," from which you may derive some of the criteria or lack of same that I use in judging whether or not to include a word in this Dictionary.

The poem in question is called "Duggan Celebrates St. Patrick's Day," by Arthur Seeley, and I found it on the Desert Moon Poetry Review Workshop. I don't know for how long it will remain on there; please let me know if the preceding link doesn't work.

By way of explanation, here are the first four lines of "Duggan Celebrates:"

His face was as brown as ale
and as finely etched as a Dublin street map,
the flicked quiff on him
white as the head on a glass of Guinness.

I was at a loss to know what quiff meant, but when I looked it up I could see Duggan as clearly as if I had a photograph, and my admiration for this poem began to grow. By the end of it I could, as I remarked in the workshop comments, almost smell it.


n : a prominent forelock (especially one brushed upward from the

-- From WordNet (r) 2.0

From Wikipedia:

"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."

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