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    #1

    A nifty haircut

    Hello teachers, can you please tell me, does an expression "nifty haircut" sound weird and wrong to an English native speaker? I just tried to complement an American girl on her new hairdo and said, "What a nifty haircut" but she told me it was weird phrase to hear for her. Saying "nifty" I was thinking "stylish, cool".
    Was she right that it doesn't sound right or it's just her vocabulary is pretty small?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A nifty haircut

    Quote Originally Posted by Dready View Post
    Hello teachers, can you please tell me, does an expression "nifty haircut" sound weird and wrong to an English native speaker? I just tried to complement an American girl on her new hairdo and said, "What a nifty haircut" but she told me it was weird phrase to hear for her. Saying "nifty" I was thinking "stylish, cool".
    Was she right that it doesn't sound right or it's just her vocabulary is pretty small?
    It sounds fine to me and I'd have understood exactly what you meant. I am a BrE speaker though and you were speaking to an American girl. Maybe it's not so common in AmE?

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    #3

    Re: A nifty haircut

    I've heard Americans use "nifty" but none of them was a youth.

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    #4

    Re: A nifty haircut

    Thanks for clearing that for me. I just saw one tattoo master saying, "This tattoo looks nifty" to a client on an American show the other day. That's why I thought that phrase was OK to use in such cases.

    P.S. And yes, the tattoo master was a lady in her 40s. Maybe young people don't use it that much.

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A nifty haircut

    I still occasionally use "nifty", but I'm getting on in years and also yell at those young whippersnapper kids to get off of my lawn. Other somewhat dated phrases that mean "nifty" are "keen" and "neat" (or "neato"). People usually picture clean-cut kids from a 1950s-era TV show when they hear these words.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A nifty haircut

    Quote Originally Posted by Dready View Post

    P.S. And yes, the tattoo master was a lady in her 40s. Maybe young people don't use it that much.
    I'm going to overlook that suggestion that someone in their 40s can't be young!

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    #7

    Re: A nifty haircut

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    I still occasionally use "nifty", but I'm getting on in years and also yell at those young whippersnapper kids to get off of my lawn. Other somewhat dated phrases that mean "nifty" are "keen" and "neat" (or "neato"). People usually picture clean-cut kids from a 1950s-era TV show when they hear these words.
    That's just swell.

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    #8

    Re: A nifty haircut

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'm going to overlook that suggestion that someone in their 40s can't be young!
    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone. It's not really about age, it's about how one feels.

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    #9

    Re: A nifty haircut

    It sounds a bit odd to me. Here, nifty has overtones of clever, like sharp, but more so. Of course, it isn't wrong, but to me, it does sound a tad strange.

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