Definition of skivvy in English:

skivvy

noun

  • 1British informal A female domestic servant who performs menial tasks.

    ‘I found a job as a maid-of-all-work, a skivvy’
    • ‘In upper-class households there was often a hierarchy of servants ‘below stairs', ranging from the butler to kitchen skivvies.’
    • ‘Be realistic: he is never going to tidy up if he has a skivvy to do it for him and give him back his stuff all sorted, clean, tidy and ready to use.’
    • ‘She said the new laws would protect Pakistani teenagers who were brought over to be little more than skivvies to an unknown husband and his family.’
    attendant, retainer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person doing work that is poorly paid and considered menial.
      ‘I'm really the office skivvy’
      • ‘What else can I do for anyone, since I seem to be everyone's skivvy this morning?’
      • ‘Are they teachers, managers, social workers or skivvies?’
      • ‘And the choice of placements totally eclipses the old stigma of office typist or work site skivvy.’
      • ‘He said: ‘Brian is my skivvy, but I will also help him in his preparations.’’
      • ‘Assistant engineer makes it sound rather grand, they were just called tape ops really, the skivvies of the recording studio.’
      • ‘They want to be treated with respect, not taken for granted as low paid skivvies.’
  • 2Australian US A lightweight high-necked long-sleeved garment.

    • ‘Dressing only in skivvies, or tunics, with no armour or protection other than their sword skills, they were outnumbered and outplayed.’
    • ‘Acpec has introduced a combat skivvy as part of a cold weather ensemble to protect the soldier in the field.’
    • ‘Wear your western shirt open and untucked over a skivvy to draw the eye down and create the illusion of a more sculpted, leaner silhouette.’
    • ‘But Couples doesn't wear a skivvy shirt under his golf tunic to minimize the subcutaneous fat.’
    • ‘The brown skivvy, open and zipped up, may be worn with dress order 4A DCPU barracks dress and 4B DPCU field dress.’
    • ‘This new Ozzie skivvy is designed in a similar style to that used by the Norwegian Army, but of a uniquely Australian material.’
    • ‘All his friends attended and he even broke out the red skivvy for the special day.’
    • ‘We progress through his experiences as though carried in his pocket, attached to his dogtags, or tucked in his skivvies.’
    • ‘I had worn a black skivvy with my favourite pair of faded jeans and my white sneakers.’
    1. 2.1A T-shirt or short-sleeved vest.
      • ‘I had also found a more suitable top, a black body hugging woollen skivvy.’
  • 3North American trademark Underwear consisting of a vest and underpants.

    • ‘Their idea blossoms gradually into the film's central story, which has the womanly girls shedding their skivvies for the shoot.’
    • ‘I remember his raised eyebrows and the distinct embarrassment of being caught in my skivvies in front of a complete stranger.’
    • ‘He got down to his skivvies and climbed in the shower.’
    • ‘I imagine Beatrix eating organic vegetables and dancing around in hemp skivvies, but I can't get anywhere near her.’
    • ‘Just go to this link and find a short story that sends the shivers down to your skivvies.’
    • ‘For a decade now, La Roche's Luk briefs, boxers, panties and undershirts have been synonymous with comfy-cozy yet fully sexy skivvies.’
    • ‘One had pulled on jeans, one was in skivvy shorts, and one responded nude.’
    • ‘But I still make him walk around at parties in his leopard print skivvies.’
    • ‘These chambers sometimes get so hot that the rappers have stripped down to their skivvies to record.’
    • ‘Undies, underwear, or skivvies were all deemed acceptable.’
    • ‘After the shoot was over, Curtis decided to strip down to her skivvies and wash off the makeup for some real footage.’
    • ‘Like the others, this trio was clad in their government-issue skivvies.’
    • ‘What's laughable is not the former dictator's skivvies, but military leaders' naivety about the media world we now live in.’
    • ‘At dawn the next morning I stood in my skivvies on the balcony of my room and surveyed the restless sea.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]British
informal
  • Do menial household tasks; work as a skivvy.

    ‘I was skivvying for that Brixton family’
    • ‘Burke's opportunity to ditch the skivvying came when his ailing grandfather divided up some inheritance money before passing away.’
    • ‘Antonin was taken in by a busy cook who offered him bed and board in exchange for skivvying.’
    • ‘Thank you, thank you for letting us come here and skivvy for you 12 hours a day for less than a fiver an hour.’
    hard work, menial work, donkey work, toil, toiling, labour, hard labour, sweated labour, chores, plodding
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 20th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

skivvy

/ˈskɪvi/