what is a tiff?

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pipelette

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an English native speaker told me that a tiff is normally used as a quarrel between lover´s: "a lover´s tiff" and that he has never heard it in another context. Is this right? Or could I use it for any quarrel about petty things?
 

vil

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Hi pipelette,

There are some definitions and examples which should give an answer your question.

tiff = petty quarrel.

A discussion, often heated, in which a difference of opinion is expressed: altercation, argument, bicker, clash, contention, controversy, debate, difficulty, disagreement, dispute, fight, polemic, quarrel, run-in, spat, squabble, word (used in plural), wrangle. Informal hassle, rhubarb, tangle. See conflict/cooperation.
n. - Krach, Streit, schlechte Laune
v. - streiten, schmollen

tiff
clip_image001.gif
[countable]
a slight argument between friends or people who are in love

tiff with

Dave's had a tiff with his girlfriend.

tiff = a quarrel about petty points

A pint on the table, a lovers tiff , a night out with the lads, a bittersweet marriage.
It is, however, pro-Scottish and when the Labour Party has a tiff with its Unionist bed-fellows in the Tory Party it should not expect the SNP's…
As Shaunagh continued to insist "it was just a tiff ", he refused to contemplate a reconciliation.
He bought that because he once had a tiff with a BBC car park attendant who wouldn't let him in.

Regards.

V.
 
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Although more often than not (and as with all but one of the examples given), 'Tiff' relates to a quarrel between lovers/married couple/girl-boy buddies: for instance, I wouldn't choose to have a 'Tiff' with my mother.
 
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