Miffed

I’m not really miffed, it’s just I used the word yesterday meaning I was a little irritated, and I began to wonder what it’s origin was. I looked it up and it comes from ‘miff’ which apparently might mean to be in ill-humour, it might come from a German verb meaning to sulk, or it might just be an expression of mild disgust like ‘pah!’ or ‘bah!’ It seems to have been around since the early 1600’s as a noun, and developed into a verb over the next hundred years or so. There used to be miffy as well as miffed… I quite like miffy.

While I was exploring its origin I came across a suggestion that it might have stemmed from MIF which I’ve written about before; now MIF is nothing to do with being irritated but everything to do with TIF. These acronyms refer to the debate about the correct way to pour tea – milk in first or tea in first… Fierce debate ensues from this seemingly minor point of tea etiquette; I am a TIF, and I’ll leave it at that. Going back to miffed, miff has nothing at all to do with MIF, it’s just a coincidence – although I might be a little miffed if I was given a cup of MIF tea…

Here’s a link to a site called Wordwizard, where miffed was discussed:

http://wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6109

 

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