Green’s Dictionary of Slang

spiflicate v.

also smifligate, spifflercate, spifflicate
[ety. unknown; ? ‘fanciful’ (OED); SE stifle + suffocate (Hotten, 1864); SE suffocate or dial. smothercate (Ware); SE spill + stifle/dial. stiffle (Partridge)]

1. to confuse, to confound.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: spiflicate confound, silence, or dumbfound.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 18 July 2/6: She would have spiflicated the amateur parson, had not the police fortunately been pressed to shield the ‘chosen one’.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
British Quarterly Rev. lvii 276: The way in which the learned, racy old Hector smashes and spiflicates scientific idiots... is delicious [F&H].
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues VI 310/2: Smifligate [...] To confound; to crush; to smash.

2. of an individual, to thrash, to beat, to overcome completely.

[UK]New Brighton Guide 39: Come, spiflicate that scoundrel Care, Gruel him, bruise him, never fear / Oh! may the powers gymnastic Make the ruddy youth elastic.
[Ire]Dublin Morn. Register 3 Oct. 4/2: Please you, my Lord, I never said I’d ‘spifflicate’ her [...] It was her said she’d ‘spifflicate’ me.
[Ire]Warder & Dublin Wkly Mail 15 Dec. 6/1: ‘Is it the money you want? [...] because you may want it, my honey, so toddle, or I’ll be arter spiflicating you’.
[UK]R. Barham ‘The Babes in the Wood’ in Ingoldsby Legends (1842) 190: So out with your whinger at once, / And scrag Jane, while I spiflicate Johnny!
[UK]Leeds Times (Yorks.) 29 Nov. 4/3: The more you kill it the more it won’t die! Chartists have ‘defeated’ it; Tories have ‘annihilated’ it; Peel has ‘spiflicated’ it; And yet the League lives.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 2 Dec. 3/1: You swore you’d spifflicate me.
[UK]Huddersfield Chron. (Yorks.) 28 June 3/5: Scrag Jane, while I spiflicate Johnny.
[UK]Bury Times 29 Nov. 4/6: When he says that he is ‘bested’ he means that he is utterly spiflicated and catawumpus’d.
[UK]Wild Boys of London I 210/1: Here, you Tommy [...] see me go and spifflicate that swell!
[UK]Dickens Nicholas Nickleby 214: Mr. Pyke threatened with many oaths to ‘smifligate’ a very old man with a lantern who accidentally stumbled in her way.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]York Herald 5 Apr. 5/3: Instead of having ‘spiflicated’ his former opponent [...] he has made him more popular.
[UK]York Herald 16 Sept. 16/6: You would be glad to run if you had such a mother-in-law. She said she would ‘spifflicate’ me.
[UK]Soldiers’ Stories and Sailors’ Yarns 157: It was as much as I could do to keep him from [...] ‘spiflicating the villen’.
[UK]Manchester Courier 24 June 14/4: Come into my dining-room and see how they’ve nearly spiflicated me [...] A scene of desolation me our eyes. The walls were rent and cracked. The furniture lay in a heap of ruins.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 79: Spifflicate, to stifle, kill, etc.
[UK]C.J.C. Hyne Further Adventures of Captain Kettle 227: ‘Very well. Den we shall spiflicate you till you do.’ [...] ‘I wonder what spiflication is,’ mused Kettle.
[Aus]‘Banjo’ Paterson ‘Tar and Feathers’ in Rio Grande’s Last Race (1904) 121: But I reckon I’d better be quiet or / They’ll spiflicate me.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘The Australaise’ Backblock Ballads 112: Biff the — foeman / Where it don’t agree. / Spifler — cate him / To Eternity.
[Aus]‘Australianaise’ in Mess Songs & Rhymes of the RAAF 15: Spiffler [bloody] cate him.
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 216: I’ll spiflicate you.
[UK]‘Frank Richards’ Billy Bunter at Butlins 57: I’ll smash you! Oooogh! I’ll spiflicate the lot of you!
[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 79: When family loquacity and argument becomes intolerable there is a range of exasperated objection: ‘Shut up’ [...] ‘I’ll hang you on the wall for a picture’, ‘I’ll spiflicate you’.
[Aus]Aus. Word Map 🌐 spifflicate. to bash up, belt, dong, hit, punch.

3. to betray to the authorities.

[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 163: Spiflicate — to spiflicate a thief is to spill him, or betray the subject of his roguery.

4. of an object, to destroy.

[UK]J. Wight More Mornings in Bow St. 58: Mrs Broadbent flew at her [...] and totally spifflicated her best drab beaver!
[Aus]Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW) 18 Sept. 2/1: [A] pugilist who has sprained his knuckles is said [...] to have ‘smashed his bunch of fives,’ [...] to have ‘spiflicated his flipper,’ or ‘played old Harry with his mawley’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Nov. 48/1: Decked out in his best, Bill Smith came west, with a load of largish pills, / An’ he told us straight they’d spiflicate all our box an’ dice of ills.
[UK]D.L. Sayers Have His Carcase 445: Don’t you see [...] that it completely busts up and spifflicates the medical evidence?

5. to kill.

[UK]Navy at Home II 216: Why did’nt you make him give you your freedom then? or a left him to be spiflicated by the Indian.
[UK]Leicester Chron. 19 Jan. 4/4: ‘Well, may I be “spiflicated,”’ exclaimed the master chimney sweep, ‘if this arn’t werry hard lines’.
[UK]Hereford Times 28 Aug. 4/4: S’help me tatur, my lord, and may I be spiflicated and die in a horse’s nightcap [...] if we didn’t kill more nor two hundred on ’em.
[UK]Manchester Courier 13 Dec. 5/7: A country gardener [...] had threatened thievish boys with ‘spring guns,’ ‘man-traps’ in vain [...] None of the urchins would run the risk of learning what it was to be spiflicated.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘A Bush Publican’s Lament’ in Roderick (1972) 467: I wish I was spifflicated before I ever seen a pub.
[UK]G.M. Hewett Rat 14: If you were told that ‘last to bed’ did not have to ‘put out the light,’ but very likely got his light put out – that is to say, got spiflicated himself – you would be in a much greater hurry to get into bed.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 15 Aug. 4s/8: For when it comes to carnage Alfred’s just the gory man / To spiflicate the cannibal brigade.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 10 Sept. 4/1: I’ll spiflicate that mongrel [...] sure as eggs are eggs.

6. to cause pain or unhappiness, in some unspecified manner.

[UK]Sporting Times 21 Apr. 1/2: ‘’Edge a bit, y’r worship!’ cried the prisoner hurriedly, ‘you’ll get fined forty blow yerself if you commits a nui—All right, bobby, all right; yer needn’t spifflercate me!’.

7. (Aus.) to run off, to disappear.

[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 29 Jan. 5/3: And that feemale do sit lonely, / Waitin’ all in vain for him; / For I think he’s spiflicated— / Gone for ever.

In exclamations

spiflicate me!

(US) excl. of surprise, alarm, etc.

[US]Dly Phoenix (Columbia, SC) 10 Nov. 3/2: ‘Upon my word this is most singular!’ ejaculated Mr Crowdie [...] ‘Spifflicate me!’.