Green’s Dictionary of Slang

huff v.

1. to act arrogantly, aggressively [SE huff, to bully, to hector; note 1910s–20s milit. jargon huff, to kill].

(a) [late 16C–early 19C] to swagger.

(b) [late 17C–early 19C] to scold, to reprove, to bully.

(c) [18C+] to annoy, to offend.

(d) [early 19C] to throw one’s arms over a victim’s shoulders and then take the money from his pockets; the assault requires two partners, one to grab and one to rifle the clothes.

2. [1960s+] (drugs) to sniff solvents or similar volatile substances; thus huffing, inhaling [SE huff, to blow].

3. (drugs) to smoke marijuana.

In phrases

stand the huff (v.) [stand v.2 (1) + SE huff/sense 1a above; the image is of the boastfulness that can underpin the gesture]

[late 18C–early 19C] to take responsibility for the bill in a public house.