Taffy

From Academic Kids

Taffy has at least two meanings.

British English

In British English taffy is a sometimes pejorative term for a Welsh person or thing. It may be derived from the Welsh forename "Dafydd" ("David"), or a reference to the River Taff in Wales.

A version of an old anti-Welsh English nursery rhyme begins:

Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief,
Taffy came to my house and stole a leg of beef.
I went to Taffy's house, Taffy wasn't in,
I jumped upon his Sunday hat and poked it with a pin.

At least one source (http://www.rhymes.org.uk/a79-taffy-was-a-welshman.htm) attributes this use of Taffy as a reference to Amaethon, who in the 6th century poem "Cad Goddeu" stole from Arawn.

American English

In American English taffy is a term for a type of chewy candy, such as salt water taffy. Taffy is made by stretching or pulling until fluffy a sticky mass of boiled sugar, butter, flavorings, and coloring. When this process is complete the taffy is cut into small pastel-colored pieces and wrapped in wax paper to keep it soft. It usually has a fruity flavor, but many other flavors are common.

Salt water taffy was a noted invention of Atlantic City, New Jersey and became a common souvenir of many coastal resort towns.

Taffy is pulled commercially by machine on metal hooks; home made taffy is pulled by hand between two people. Taffy pulls were a common social event in the 18th century and still occasionally practiced today. The two-person format allowed romantic possibility and the word "taffy" was sometimes used to mean "flattery".

Also Taffy is the name of the daughter of the president (Jack Nicholson) in the Tim Burton film Mars Attacks!.

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