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Mike Barnes had it:

Tomorrow I plan to skive off orchestra.

David
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It can't possibly be related to Pfaff, that's too much like the sewing machine and in my book that's too ... desk. Where I'm not, of course, now, because I don't faff around that much at my desk. Of course not.

Speaking of sewing machines, this is one disorganized thread. Some points need made, I think:
1) faffing (not pfaffing) about means being ineffectual in an obviousmanner

2) skiving means deliberately pleasing yourself when you should beattending to duties of some kind
Both are long-established in BrE usage, but presumably not required elsewhere (except Oz, natch.)
Matti
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It can't possibly be related to Pfaff, that's too much ... faff around that much at my desk. Of course not.

Speaking of sewing machines, this is one disorganized thread. Some points need made, I think: 1) faffing (not pfaffing) about ... attending to duties of some kind Both are long-established in BrE usage, but presumably not required elsewhere (except Oz, natch.)

I agree with Matti (again I must stop doing this). Faffing about is futile fussing; skiving is shirking responsibilities altogether.

Ross Howard
Mike Barnes had it:

Not to me. In fact, the only thing that people ... would be redundant. May I see an example of transitivity?

Tomorrow I plan to skive off orchestra.

Ooh, that's really clunky for me. Frankly, it sounds "American".

Andrew Gwilliam
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Andrew Gwilliam wrote on 15 Apr 2005:
Mike Barnes had it: Tomorrow I plan to skive off orchestra.

Ooh, that's really clunky for me. Frankly, it sounds "American".

Not at all. Americans don't say "skive" or "skive off", and when we take a holiday like that, we simply "cut" or "punt" or "miss".

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Andrew Gwilliam had it:
Mike Barnes had it: Tomorrow I plan to skive off orchestra.

Ooh, that's really clunky for me. Frankly, it sounds "American".

I am functionally bilingual in American (it's the slight accent which gives me away) - they don't say "skive".
But although I recognise this version, I am less likely to use it than "I plan to skive orchestra".
How about "games", as in organised school sport? I think there is a difference between "I skived games" and "I skived off games". It's something to do with the amount of action involved in the skiving.

David
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Andrew Gwilliam wrote on 15 Apr 2005:

Ooh, that's really clunky for me. Frankly, it sounds "American".

Not at all. Americans don't say "skive" or "skive off", and when we take a holiday like that, we simply "cut" or "punt" or "miss".

I didn't say it is American, I said it sounds American.
Usage examples of "cut", "punt", and possibly "miss" would be welcome.

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
Mike Barnes had it: Tomorrow I plan to skive off orchestra.

Ooh, that's really clunky for me. Frankly, it sounds "American".

Since I had never heard "skive" as either vi. or vt. I thought it must be dialect or American. So I looked in the OED. It appears (in the sense required here) only in the Supplement where it is WWI "soldier slang" for evading duty or "American" for some sort of financial equivalent.
My advice would be "do not use the word". That goes for "faffing" too.
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Not at all. Americans don't say "skive" or "skive off", and when we take a holiday like that, we simply "cut" or "punt" or "miss".

I didn't say it is American, I said it sounds American. Usage examples of "cut", "punt", and possibly "miss" would be welcome.

"Let's cut class and go smoke pot."
"I have a dentist's appointment, so I'm going to miss class tomorrow."

(I don't use "punt" or "skive," so I may have misunderstood the question.)

SML
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