Green’s Dictionary of Slang

stiff adj.

[lit. and fig. uses of SE stiff, rigid]

1. in lit. senses.

(a) (orig. US) drunk; esp. very drunk and passed out cold; thus ext. stiff as a board; note earlier sense of stiff drinker n., a hard drinker in cit. 1654.

[[UK]Witts Recreations ‘Fancies and Fantasticks’ No. 115: From Court we invite / Lord, Lady, and Knight, [...] And all our stiffe drinkers, / Smiths, Porters, and Tinkers, / And the Beggars shall give ye room].
[US]B. Franklin ‘Drinkers Dict.’ in Pennsylvania Gazette 6 Jan. in AS XII:2 92: They come to be well understood to signify plainly that A MAN IS DRUNK. [...] He’s Stiff.
[UK] comic song in Ware (1909) 63/1: Every night does my husband come home blue, blind, stiff, stark, staring drunk, till he can’t see a hole in a forty foot ladder, sure.
[UK]Dundee Courier 2 Jan. 5/6: ‘What ails that man?’ [...] ‘Too stiff a bit,’ replied the jockey.
[US]F. Hutcheson Barkeep Stories 81: ‘De two o’ dem is stiff an’, o’ course, dey was in an argument’.
[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 65: stiff, adj. Very drunk.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 19 May 1/1: As soon as the amorous bladder-booter is stiff the curly-headed waiter is the pea.
[US]News & Courier (Charleston, SC) 14 Apr. 18/2: We can and will pickle you stiff inside of eight minutes if you’re there with the pay-off junk.
[US]R. Lardner Big Town 148: That night the kid got stiff.
[US]Hecht & Fowler Great Magoo 167: His knobs in there has been stiff ever since – drinking to her success.
[US]W. Winchell 18 May [synd. col.] [He] got stiffer than he intended . . . Now he cannot recall in which nightclub he replaced it [i.e. an urn].
F. Foster in Collier’s Wkly 17 Jan. 6/3: Since colonial days, approximately 400 terms to describe being drunk have been used in this country. Among the many no longer heard are bungey, nimptopsical, cherry-merry and ‘as stiff as a ringbolt’.
[US]A.J. Liebling Honest Rainmaker (1991) 123: I go out there and get stiff as a board.
[UK]Galton & Simpson ‘The Reunion Party’ Hancock’s Half-Hour [TV script] sid: Everybody got drunk in Naples. tony: Not like we got drunk. Roaring stiff we were. We couldn’t stand up.
[US]K. Brasselle Cannibals 487: Chili baby, I apologize for getting so stiff.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 41: A guy I know comes along, he’s stiff.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 127–8: A state of intoxication, a.k.a. blind, bombed, cockeyed, crocked, loaded, looped, pickled, plastered, polluted, potted, smashed, stewed, stiff, stinking, stoned, wiped out, zonked.
[US] in J. Breslin Damon Runyon (1992) 82: The private detective was completely stiff, with Raymond close to it.

(b) dead.

[UK]Smollett (trans.) Adventures of Gil Blas III 109: When Signior Gil Blas is stiff, don’t fail to treat him with a good funeral.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Lyric Odes’ Works (1794) I 115: There’s one R.A. more dead! stiff is poor Hone!
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 355: [note] How does your venerable father do, sir? — How? why, the old buffer is as stiff as pitch.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker III 82: As soon as he is stiff, he is dressed in an English shroud.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 30 Aug. 24/3: I don’t b’leeve yer, I say, but I likes th’ plan. If it fails, well, we’ll swing, o’corse, but yer’ll be stiff afore we do.
[US]H.C. Witwer Classics in Sl. 70: When he sees his old pal layin’ stiff in the gutter, what does he do but grab his own gat and cook Tybalt.
[US]A. Feldman ‘The Squeal Widow’ in Gun Molls Oct. [Internet] If we turn him up stiff we blow our hand.
[US](con. 1948) G. Mandel Flee the Angry Strangers 406: ‘He’s dead?’ Dincher finally said. ‘He’s stiff, you sure?’.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Confessions 128: When we discovered that the old fellow was quite stiff, we pretended he was drunk.
[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 50: Among these colloquialisms are ‘aggro’, an aggressive patient; ‘dunny’, a confused, disorientated and (usually) senile patient; a ‘stiff dunny’ is dead or, in other words ‘has carked it’, and a patient who has ‘sloughed off’ has disappeared.

(c) pertaining to or describing an erection; thus stiffness n.

[[UK] Burns ‘There Cam a Sojer’ in Merry Muses of Caledonia (1965) 82: He set a stiff thing to my wame].
[UK] ‘The Lady’s Snatchbox’ Cuckold’s Nest 26: The dandy so stiff and so vain, / I very nicely oft docks, / All his stiffness I takes out, ’tis plain, / When he gets in my little snatch box.
[UK] ‘Said A Quim To A Jock’ Rambler’s Flash Songster 47: O, then said the quim, / in answer to him, / You need not be so stiff about it; / Said the jock I can see, / You know nothing of me, / I shall stand to my word never doubt it.
[UK]Lustful Memoirs of a Young and Passionated Girl 26: After he had got his stiff one embedded in her body, he let it remain there quietly.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 488: Man loves her yoni fiercely with big lingam, the stiff one.

(d) unconscious; implied in knock stiff

2. strong, usu. of liquor, e.g. a stiff drink.

[UK]Sporting Mag. XLII 131: Mr. Jenkins [...] to the last ‘belted’ his three bottles of stiff port after dinner.
[US]R. Waln Hermit in America on Visit to Phila. 2nd series 24: What say you to a whet, Dashall? [...] a stiff flip?
[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 81: I told the steward to make it stiff.
[US]T. Haliburton Letter-bag of the Great Western (1873) 15: I always feels better for de stiff glass of grog. Poor leetle tings! but dey do like him werry stiff, werry stiff indeed, it is actilly astonishing how stiff they do takes him.
[UK]C. Kingsley Two Years Ago I 96: He [...] mixed him a stiff glass of brandy-and-water.
[UK]Derby Day 98: He seized a decanter of brandy, and half-filled the glass. ‘That will do, Chub. Don’t make it too stiff!’.
[Aus]C. Money Knocking About in N.Z. 122: Get me a stiff glass of rum, Money.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 34: Father brought out a keg and poured some rum into a pint pot. He took a pretty stiff pull.
[UK]Marvel XIV:356 Sept. 7: P’raps you gents ‘ud like a drop o’ summat stiff afore you goes?
[US]‘Old Sleuth’ Dock Rats of N.Y. (2006) 32: A man ran in and whispered something to the big mate, and then the men all took a ‘stiff tin’ and with oaths and curses started to go to your daddy’s cabin.
[UK]J. Buchan Thirty-Nine Steps (1930) 6: There was a tray of drinks on the table beside him, from which he filled himelf a stiff whisky-and-soda.
[US]D. Parker ‘Big Blonde’ in Penguin Dorothy Parker (1982) 195: She went to the pantry, mixed him a stiff highball.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 826: One good, stiff shot would jack him up.
[US]M. Spillane Long Wait (1954) 196: He got up, tottered across the room to a portable bar and poured himself a stiff shot.
[Can]R. Caron Go-Boy! 230: After pouring himself a stiff drink he left.
[US]T. Philbin Under Cover 228: Bender took a long pull on the Scotch. It was a stiff one.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper From The Inside 31: We had a stiff whiskey.
[UK]J. Baker Shooting In The Dark (2002) 64: I had a stiff drink [...] There’s nothing wrong with that.

3. demanding, difficult; thus stiffish, somewhat difficult.

[UK]Life and Trial of James Mackcoull 12: Mackcoull said it was a stiff job in day light.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy II 236: Why, a stiffish bout, I must confess.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker (1843) II 92: Considerable stiff folks in their way them quakers — you can’t no more move ’em than a church steeple.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour 31: Awful stiff country this for horses that are not used to it.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 420/2: It was a stiffish thing while it lasted, was the fight.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 160: We humped our saddles and swags ourselves; a stiffish load too.
[US]Harper’s Mag. lxxxvi 447: We now left the carriages and began a stiff climb to the top of the hill [F&H].
[UK]Sporting Times 6 Jan. 1/2: John Bull’s in Africa hunting the fox, / It’s a stiffish country with roughish knocks.
[UK]T.S. Eliot ‘The Triumph of Bullshit’ Inventions of the March Hare in Ricks (1996) 307: Ladies who think me unduely vociferous / Amiable cabotin making a noise / That people may cry out ‘This stuff is too stiff for us’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Sept. 15/1: A quarter parst, ’n’ ’im not come? / Lor blime, this is pretty stiff.
[UK]‘Sapper’ Final Count 854: To-night is going to be a pretty stiff show.
[UK]R. Westerby Wide Boys Never Work (1938) 203: That was a stiff-looking kid, all right, and he looked proper wild.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 14: What are they like? A pretty stiffish nymphery, I suspect.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 2: Our relations having been on the stiff side.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 185: We’ve got a stiffish walk.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 7 Apr. 20: ‘Fine of £100 on each offence and I order the drugs to be destroyed.’ ‘That was a bit stiff.’.

4. (UK Und.) reliable, staunch.

[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.

5. of money, in the form of a bill of exchange or promissory note as opposed to cash [stiff n.1 (4a)].

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 102: ‘How did you get it, stiff or hard?’ i.e. did he pay you cash or give a bill?
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. [as cit. 1859].

6. (US) expensive; thus stiffish adv., expensively.

[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 90/2: He thought the price was a stiff one for a ‘crib’ like that.
[UK] ‘’Arry at the Gaiety’ in Punch 5 July 309/1: Two-and-a-tanner is stiff, but you do have to pay for good form.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the Road’ in Punch 9 Aug. 84/1: I started the day with two quid; so it piled pooty stiffish, dear boy.
[UK]H. Smart Post to Finish II 118: These bills, you see, amount to a pretty stiff sum.
[US]C.H. Hoyt A Milk White Flag Act I: I call it a stiff price.
[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 156: Pretty stiff day this, but I’m going to send Jess to the country and that will make it cheaper.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 17 Sept. 26/3: Guess that will about do. Eighty pounds, eh? A bit stiff, isn’t it? Bedrock? Ah, well, I’ll take it.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Assistant Murderer’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 142: I thought a grand would be all right, and said so. Too stiff. We come together on five hundred.
[UK]J. MacLaren-Ross ‘A Bit of a Smash in Madras’ in Memoirs of the Forties (1984) 284: The sum seems a bit stiff [...] five hundred chips was pretty near a whole month’s screw.

7. (orig. Aus.) uncompetitive.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 3 Mar. 6/1: It is very doubtful [...] if any radical remedy for the abuses [...] will be found until the duty of sheeting home cases of ‘stiff’ running is entrusted to stipendiary stewards instructed to act [...] without fear or favour.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 139: A horse or man or even a politician not honestly trying to win any race or contest is stiff.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Sept. 11/4: When owners, jockeys and sporting noblemen all regard stiff or ‘cronk’ running as a matter of course, the chance of the public – the mule-headed, fly-flat, old public that pays for this great game – is fairly poverty-smitten.
D. Runyon ‘A Tale of Two Fists’ II in Wichita Dly Eagle (KS) 16 Apr. 7/3: Doubtless Dempsey’s opponents in some of those fleeting affairs would be rated as ‘stiff’ by the discerning patrons [...] Meaning that they were not men of fistic class.
[US]D. Runyon ‘The Lemon Drop Kid’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 372: It is nothing but a boat race, and everything in it is as stiff as a plank, except this certain horse.

8. in negative senses.

(a) factually implausible; morally unacceptable.

[UK]Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 14 June 54/1: Mr Jerome observed in a sepulchral tone, ‘I wish to procure a corpse!’ [...] That sounds a bit ‘stiff’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Apr. 14/1: Recently read a stiff yarn about an orchid in Cuba which dropped its tendrils at night and drew up and strangled some Yankee sailors.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘They Begged To Differ’ Sporting Times 15 Apr. 1/3: She liked not the suggestions he / Advanced; she p’raps deemed them to be / A shade too stiff, and all agree / That nobody beats Mr. G / In piling it on stiffer.
[Aus]E. Dyson Spats’ Fact’ry (1922) 28: When yeh get t’ torkin’ that way about a man’s future wife, it’s too bally stiff.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[UK]P. Hamilton West Pier (1986) 233: ‘She ended up by threatening to call a policeman.’ ‘A policeman!’ exclaimed George. [...] ‘Yes. That does sound a bit stiff, I must say.’.

(b) impoverished.

[Aus]H. Lawson ‘A Wild Irishman’ in Roderick (1972) 192: The Flour got ‘stiff’. He hadn’t any money and his credit had run out.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Sept. 36/2: He was dead stiff, he said in the bar while he was having a drink with some of us, and when she heard it she took a note out of her purse and gave it to him, so nice that we thought she was an angel, and half envied him for being broke.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Aug. 13/2: The police will give him a drink or two – which we can’t, bein’ stiff!
[Aus]Aussie (France) VII Sept. 7/1: If you were stiff, you could be sure that he would come to light – when he had the necessary. But this latter seldom lasted more than forty-eight hours after the ghost had walked.
[UK](con. WWI) A.E. Strong in Partridge Sl. Today and Yesterday 287: I’ll admit I was stiff when I lost that fifty francs.
[Aus]Queenslander (Brisbane) 10 July 2/1: That wanderer was not a sundowner. He was stiff and swagless.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 240/1: stiff – broke, short or out of luck.

(c) unlucky, unfortunate.

[Aus]Kia Ora Coo-ee 15 Aug. 2/2: I’m goin’ ter [...] see wevver ’vese ’ere old Crusyder coves useter be planted wiv their p’y in their tin pockits. A bloke u’d be real stiff if he didn’t get a few akkers aht of it!
[Aus]G.H. Lawson Dict. of Aus. Words And Terms [Internet] STIFF—To be unlucky.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 470: Stan had run into stiff luck.
[Aus]L. Glassop We Were the Rats 113: First A.I.F. casualty over here from enemy action. Strike me pink, some jokers are stiff.
see sense 8a.
[UK]C. Rohan Delinquents 150: Who would think I’d be so stiff as to fall again?
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 59: You don’t have to be dead to be stiff: Meaning that one can have a run of bad luck under almost any circumstances and for no good reason.

(d) as an expression meaning ‘hard luck’; the inference is that the speaker has very little actual sympathy.

[Aus]J. Ramsay Cop It Sweet 33: stiff: Expression of sympathy.
P. Corris Pokerface 102: ‘Hey, I wanted to hear that,’ Snow said. ‘Stiff,’ Crawley snarled.
A. McGahan Praise 63: ‘It hurts,’ she moaned. ‘I won’t be able to walk for a week.’ ‘Stiff,’ I said.

9. of a blow, hard, painful.

[[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 166: In the ring, ’tis called a ‘stiff fight’ when the men stand up well to each other, giving and taking].
[US]H.C. Witwer Classics in Sl. 56: We both know he’s a stiff puncher.
[US]N. Algren ‘Depend on Aunt Elly’ in Texas Stories (1995) 101: When he’d catch a stiff one he made a point of applauding the blow with his gloves.
M. Spillane Bastard Bannerman 100: I [...] gave him one stiff shot in the chops.

10. (US) of a cheque, counterfeit, fraudulent.

[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Lead With Your Left (1958) 24: They had collared a clown [...] trying to pass a stiff check in a drugstore.

Pertaining to an erection

In compounds

stiff and stout (n.)

the erect penis.

[UK]Urquhart (trans.) Gargantua and Pantagruel (1927) I Bk I 44: And some of the other women would give these names [...] my lusty live sausage, my crimson chitterlin, rump-splitter, shove-devil, down right to it, stiff and stout, in and to, at her again, my coney-borrow-ferret, wily-beguiley, my pretty rogue.
[[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] I let her know in no uncertain terms how much it would mean to me [...] if only I could take her back to the office and introduce her to Mr. Stout].
stiff stander (n.)

an erection; the erect penis; thus stiff-standing adj.

[UK] ballad in Wardroper (1969) 194: For now I am stiff standing / And Cupid with his dart hath me at his commanding.
[UK]Gentleman’s Bottle-Companion 9: The Stiff-Standing Member.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) III 629: I had meant to have ready a stiff-stander when she came back.

Other uses

In compounds

stiff lad (n.)

(UK Und.) someone who is dependable, whether as a source of money or support.

[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict. n.p.: Lad, stiff a fellow with plenty of money in his pocket; also staunch in any robbery or enterprise.
stiff rap (n.)

1. (US prison) a long prison sentence.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 212/1: Stiff rap. 1. A severe sentence.
[US]G. Duffy Warden’s Wife 63: Prisoners who, having been convicted of particularly heinous crimes, have stiff jolts to serve.

2. a criminal charge which one is not guilty of.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 212/1: Stiff rap. [...] 2. A criminal charge of which one is innocent.

In phrases

bore stiff (v.) [var. on SE bore rigid + SE stiff, corpse-like; one is rendered virtually dead by tedium]

(orig. US) to bore completely.

[UK]Wodehouse Gentleman of Leisure Ch. xx: ‘Look here,’ said Lord Dreever, ‘this is boring me stiff. Let’s have a game of something.’.
[UK](con. 1916) F. Manning Her Privates We (1986) 84: I didn’t want to stay there [...] It bored me stiff.
[SA]N. Devitt Famous S. Afr. Trials 27: The estimable body of men [...] [were] ‘bored stiff’ with the proceedings.
[US]E. O’Neill Long Day’s Journey into Night Act I: Oh, Mama, forget it! [...] Jamie and I would be bored stiff.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 303: What a ball we had, huh? This is one day that didn’t bore me stiff.
[US]C. Hiaasen Native Tongue 43: I was bored stiff.
go stiff (v.)

(Aus.) to lose (a race) deliberately.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 12 July 7/4: A Sydney girl, aged fifteen, charged with stealing money, umbrellas, bags, &c., from little girls on their way to school, accounted for the possession of some money and property by saying it was given her by another girl to go ‘stiff’ in a race for a gold medal at a skating rink.
knock-’em-stiff (n.)

(US) strong whisky.

[US]H.E. Taliaferro Fisher’s River 31: Ha! boys let’s take some uv the knock-’em-stiff, fur I can’t half talk to these gentlemen candidates till I’m ’bout half slewed.
[US](con. 1820s) ‘Skitt’ Fisher’s River 18: A rifle, a shot-pouch [...] and an article they dubbed ‘knock-’em-stiff’ were of vastly more importance than ‘larnin’’.
[US]‘Edmund Kirke’ Down in Tennessee 86: I’ll draw a jug uv Knock-em-stiff.
[US]E.A.U. Valentine Hecla Sandwith 5: Ah jedge thez plenty a knockem stiff fer the crowd [DA].
knock stiff (v.) (US)

1. to knock unconscious or to shoot.

[UK]Berks. Chron. 7 Dec. 4/4: My name is Jack-knock-him-stiff, and I’ll give you a sample.
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 29: I knocked him stiff, and the gun fell to the floor.
Dly Commercial Herald (Vicksburg, MS) 1 Mar. 2/4: It was the custom for the mates to hit lazy negroes on the head [...] ‘and knock them stiff’.
[Aus]Worker (Brisbane) 4 Sept. 8/4: The ‘rouseabout,’ his willing slave, who's ever on the spot / [...] / He sneeringly terms ‘loppy’ and a ‘leather-neck,’ and if / He doesn't ‘chuck’ himself about he swears to knock him stiff.
[US]R.E. Howard ‘Alleys of Peril’ Fight Stories Jan. [Internet] I decided [...] to [...] knock McCoy stiff as quick as possible.
[US]E. O’Neill Long Day’s Journey into Night Act III: You’re stinking now. That will knock you stiff.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 93: As I was walking down the street, the copper said to me: / ‘Do you belong to the doley-oh mob? Well, just come with me.’ / Grabbed me by the collar, tried to run me in; I upped with me fist and knocked him stiff, and we all began to sing.

2. to amaze or impress; thus knocked stiff.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 28 Feb. 8/3: Knocks you stiff when you hear of some of the doings of mining men.
[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 88: I bet this Marshall Field sky piece knocks ’em stiff when I breeze up Van Ness.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 15 Dec. 7/6: That there knocked him pretty stiff, Sir, / So he axed her what was wrong.
[US]J. Lait ‘Second from the End’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 190: They used to call you ‘the girl with the lavender tights,’ and you knocked ’em stiff at the Stuyvesant.
[US]H.C. Witwer Classics in Sl. 52: She slams that eight-hundred-buck gew gaw down on the counter like it was a Canadian dime and [...] I am knocked stiff again.
[US]J. Lait Broadway Melody 16: We’ll get our big chance and we’ll knock this burg stiff.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

stiff-arm (v.)

(US) to mistreat, to snub, to push aside.

[US]‘Paul Merchant’ ‘Sex Gang’ in Pulling a Train’ (2012) [ebook] He knew how to to tap a till, how to mug a lush, stiff-arm a mark and lead a rumble.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 51: They had fled like fiends, Glenn stiff-arming the old-age pensioner guard who tried to bar their exit.
stiff-arsed (adj.) (also stiff-assed) [-arsed sfx/-assed sfx]

supercilious, arrogant, standoffish.

G. Cotterell Tea at Shadow Creek 149: I had more respect for the stiff-arsed pommies who stayed just as they were at home, take it or leave it.
[UK](con. WWII) G. Sire Deathmakers 108: No stiff-assed son of a bitch is going to put me in a concentration camp.
[US]B. Malamud Tenants (1972) 64: You asked me to. If you think you made a mistake and are going to be stiffassed and uptight by what I say, maybe we ought to call it off before we start?
P. Barnes Plays: One 380: But you’re one of those stiff-arsed moralists who see a favour as an opportunity to show their piss-green incorruptibility rather than their gratitude.
J.C. Wright Golden Age 156: Listen to his stiff-arsed, high-nosed twang!
stiff-ass (adj.) [-ass sfx]

a general term of derision.

[US]W. King ‘The Game’ in King Black Short Story Anthol. (1972) 303: Some stiff-ass farmer tossed me and my brothers a tag long time ago with a heap others doing same.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 23: She sure ain’t got no stiff-ass nigger like you for her man.
stiff bikkies (n.) (also tough bikkies) [tough adj. (1) + bikkies n.]

(Aus./N.Z.) tough luck; the inference is that the speaker has very little actual sympathy.

[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 191: There is HARD LUCK, bad luck expressed in forms such as hard cheddar and hard cheese, both of which convey a lack of sympathy, if not a distinct heartlessness also heard in the terms stiff shit, tough bikkies, and the like.
J. Dutch New Beginning 208: ‘It is a well known fact [...] that a person, even a woman person, may, on rare occasions, change her mind.’ ‘Tough bikkies,’ said Anderson. ‘Tough bikkies?’.
[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
stiff cheddar (n.) (also stiff cheese, ...turps) [play on hard cheese under hard adj.]

(N.Z./Aus.) bad luck.

J.E. Macdonnell Don’t Gimme the Ships 65: It was just stiff turps that the base admiral had to come aboard and catch him more than half bonkers.
[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 48: It’d be stiff cheese if they dobbed out on this little issue.
[Aus]L. Peters Dirty Half-Mile 286: ‘They don’t like it!’ ‘Stiff cheddar mate!’.
N. Hasluck Hand That Feeds You 6: You lock the house up. Disconnect the phone. Plug your ears with cotton wool. Stiff cheddar. You lie there wide awake...
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 59: ‘Stiff cheddar’ is an Australianism for the English phrase, ‘Hard cheese, old chap.’ In coarser and more unfeeling circles it is sometimes translated as ‘Stiff shit, mate.’.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 107/2: stiff unlucky, often expressed sarcastically in such phrases as stiff luck, stiff cheese, stiff cheddar; eg ‘I’ve just eaten the last sausage roll. Stiff cheese, old boy. Teach you to be late.’.
[UK]K. Lette Mad Cows 62: Women who’ve been handed the stiff cheese from fate’s fromage trolley.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 200: stiff Unlucky, but often meant ironically, usually with addition as in stiff cheese/cheddar/kumara/luck [Internet] Bad luck. Originally Australian for penniless; unlucky in ANZ early C20.
stiff luck (n.)

bad luck, the implication is of unfairness.

[NZ]N.Z. at the Front 107: Instead, they stood aside and murmured among themselves: ‘Stiff luck!’ [DNZE].
[Aus]Kia Ora Coo-ee 15 Apr. 5/3: He got seven days C.B. Two hours later, his commission came through, but he had to do the seven days C.B. all the same. That’s what I call stiff luck.
[NZ]F. Sargeson ‘That Summer’ in Coll. Stories (1965) 148: A young joker got up from the next seat and said he wished I hadn’t done that [...] Stiff luck, I said.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 107/2: stiff unlucky, often expressed sarcastically in such phrases as stiff luck, stiff cheese, stiff cheddar.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 200: stiff Unlucky, but often meant ironically, usually with addition as in stiff cheese/cheddar/kumara/luck [Internet] Bad luck. Originally Australian for penniless; unlucky in ANZ early C20.
stiff rump (n.)

a pompous, arrogant person; also as adj.; thus stiff-rumped adj., arrogant, pompous.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Stiff, Sti-ffrump [sic] proud, stately.
[UK]T. Brown Letters to Gentlemen and Ladies in Works (1760) III 196: Our stiff-rumped Countesses in their silks and satins.
[UK]Humours of a Coffee-House 21 Nov. 63: The inflexible Stiff-Rump [...] receiv’d the Honour.
[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 58: Two brothers of the stiff-rumpt sect.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Stiff-rumped, proud, stately.
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Odes of Condolence’ Works (1794) III 259: For your modest stiff-rump’d neighbours all – There’d be a pretty kick-up – what a squall!
[UK]Sporting Mag. July VI 228/1: So with such vile tautology, Stiff-rump, have done.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]W. Combe Doctor Syntax, Wife (1868) 259/2: And though some stiff’rumpt folks beshrew it, / You’ll find it as you always knew it.
[US]‘Jack Downing’ Andrew Jackson 101: By this time the swannery of the John Bullites became pritty much a goosery. The old stiffrumpers begin’d tu waddle as limber as if they had never bin proud of their exploits with the monseers.
stiff shit (n.) [fig. use of shit n. (1a)]

(Aus.) hard luck; the inference is that the speaker has very little actual sympathy.

C. Carstairs Zero Heroes 53: ‘Vell,’ said the officer, ‘that is steef chit.’.
R. English Toxic Kisses 3: ‘Stiff shit,’ whispers Lou as if he’s talking to a non-existent dummy on his lap.
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 59: ‘Stiff cheddar’ is an Australianism for the English phrase, ‘Hard cheese, old chap.’ In coarser and more unfeeling circles it is sometimes translated as ‘Stiff shit, mate.’.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Boys from Binjiwunyawunya 97: That’s the way we work, bloodnut. If you don’t like it — stiff shit.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Goodoo Goodoo 83: If you [...] broke your back in six places and finished up a quadrplegic [...] stiff shit.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 191: There is HARD LUCK, bad luck expressed in forms such as hard cheddar and hard cheese, both of which convey a lack of sympathy, if not a distinct heartlessness also heard in the terms stiff shit, tough bikkies, and the like.
stiff ’un (n.)

see separate entry.

In phrases

get on some stiff time (v.) [ety. unknown]

(US black) to succeed, esp. in an illicit, but profitable, occupation.

[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in Novels and Stories (1995) 1008: Getting on some stiff time: really doing well with your racket.
stiff as a crutch (adj.) (Aus./N.Z.)

1. physically stiff; rigid in posture.

[UK]London Eve. Standard 5 Nov. 4/3: Hear him evpatiate on his little barky [...] ‘Oh! she is the fleetest of the fleet — sits on the water like a duck— stands under her canvas as stiff as a crutch— and turns to windward like a witch!’.
[Aus]Sydney Gaz. and NSW Advertiser 3 july 4/2: I had to practice a good fall — i.e. falling backwards as stiff as crutch, which always gave me a shock.
[Aus]Central Qld Herald (Rocckhampton, Qld) 27 Dec. 27/4: You have never seen a bloke fall like that [...] he goes down like a pole-axed calf. You can see his eyes roll and he goes stiff as a crutch.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 23 Jan. 2/3: She is small but beautifully moulded, while her great beam renders her ‘as stiff as a crutch’.
Poverty bay Herald (NZ) 19 Mar. 2/7: The appearance of Mischief, while walking in the saddling paddock prior to ringing up, ’as stiff as a crutch,’ confirmed public opinion.
[NZ]N.Z. Observer 12 Apr. 18/2: Puhipuhi [...] is ‘as stiff as a crutch’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Sept. 24/3: I was as stiff as a crutch when I fought him and he couldn’t knock me out. I simply died away from sheer weariness.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 26 Aug. 3s/5: A prad he had backed [...] would outpace the field [...] and gthen fall down — dead-stiff as a crutch.
Border Watch (Mt Gambier SA) 1 June 7/3: Now, after a day on the tractor I feel [...] stiff as a crutch.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 7: Blimey – stiff as a crutch, as per usual.

2. dead.

[UK]Bell’s Life in London 31 Aug. 2/5: Let them cant as they will, old Jack Scroggins maintains, / Max is strength to the muscle, and blood the veins. / If the gin-shops they shut up, my feeling is such, / That many a brave boy will be stiff a crutch.
Roscommon & Leitrim Gaz. 21 June 2/2: [H]e was as dead as small beer, and as stiff as a crutch.

3. completely penniless.

[Aus]Burra Record 20 June 2/6: It’s really heartrending for one to [...] see the large number of recently warm men who are now monetary cripples — stiff as a crutch.
[Aus]Worker (Brisbane) 23 June 6/2: I’m stiff as a crutch,’ said I. ‘That means you are destitute’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 4 June 4/8: Though I am stiff as a crutch I am still in close touch /With the trade.
[Aus]Western Champion 1 Dec. 15/2: He again left his money with the boss [...] He got to Melbourne in duue time as stiff as a crutch.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 15 Jan. 3/8: I met them in Murray-street [...] unshaved and unwashed and as ‘stiff’ as the proverbial crutch.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 88: Of additional similes peculiarly our own, the following are among the best: [...] stiff as a crutch, penniless.

4. certain.

[Aus]Albany Advertiser (Aus.) 6 Sept. 4/3: East were as ‘stiff as a crutch’ to lose, as they had the best of things in the last quarter.
stiff as a poker (adj.) (also stiff as a beaver board, …pike-staff, ...ramrod, ...starfish)

very stiff.

[UK]Teague-Root Display’d 11: The Male Teague-Root [...] becomes as stiff as a Poker.
[UK]Foote Maid of Bath Married I iv: O’ons, I stand as stiff as a poker.
[UK]G. Colman Yngr Heir at Law III ii: With a wig as wide as a wash-tub, and stuck up as stiff as a poker.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy II 30: He was dead as a Dublin Bay herring – and now he lies in his cabin [...] as stiff as a poker.
[US]T. Haliburton Clockmaker II 126: I was e’en a’most frozen as stiff as a poker.
[Ire]C.J. Lever Harry Lorrequer 28: Miss Betty O’Dowd [...] was the personification of an old maid; stiff as a ramrod.
[UK]R. Barham ‘The Auto-Da-Fé’ in Ingoldsby Legends (1842) 67: A small sword as long and as stiff as a poker.
[US]F.M. Whitcher Widow Bedott Papers (1883) 95: Stiff as a poker and prim as a pea-pod.
[US]Melville Moby Dick (1907) 29: He drew back his arm [...] and sat up in bed, stiff as a pike-staff, looking at me.
[UK] ‘The Fashionable Coaley’ in Laughing Songster 99: I ’spose you’ve heard that uncle’s dead, / And stiff as any poker!
[UK]C. Deveureux Venus in India I 55: I don’t believe this can be a proper prick at all! [...] Because it’s always stiff as a poker—always standing!
[UK]R.D. Blackmore Kit and Kitty II 17: ‘Dead as a doornail!’ said Rasp the baker. ‘Stiff as a starfish!’ cried Pluggs the grocer.
[UK]E.W. Hornung A Thief in the Night (1992) 344: ‘It certainly is not necessary in my case,’ replied Nasmyth, still as stiff as a poker.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (1977) 35: Finding an old gentleman stiff as a poker in the best arm-chair.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 100: Luke was stiff as a poker.
[US]W. Fisher Waiters 258: Poor-ass white folks tryin’ to have a good time. Stiff as beaver board. Never able to let their hair down.
stiff in the back (adj.) [i.e. SE unbending]

resolute, determined.

‘A. Hope’ Phroso (1905) 75: ‘Are you going to let him off?’ demanded Denny, suspiciously. ‘You never can be stiff in the back, Charley.’.
stiff on (adj.)

(Aus.) keen on.

[Aus]Kia Ora Coo-ee 15 Mar. 11/1: The Devil is havin’ a bet on the mob, / The mob that’s marchin’ along, / He’s stiff on the favourite, (who’s leadin’ in front,) / And the odds is against me strong.