1. Rigid, turgid, barely flexible.
2. A corpse (dead long enough to have rigor mortis).
3. Cheat ("I got stiffed")
4. Ordinary man. ("You lucky stiff.")
5. Stand-up (a stiff collar... etc).
6. Loaded to the gills,pissed
7. Very. ("bored stiff")

See also: stiffy,stiffie

Stiff ( Wrestling jargon )

In the professional wrestling lexicon, a wrestler whose offense often hurts his opponent is known as a "stiff worker".

Professional wrestling matches are "fixed", in the sense that the winner is predetermined and the wrestlers are actually cooperating with each other and not trying to hurt one another. However, some wrestlers are intent on making their attacks look as realistic as possible, and this can injure and even endanger their fellow wrestlers.

Stiff workers may be depushed, blacklisted or even fired if other wrestlers have enough problems with their work. Examples of wrestlers with a stiff style are Tajiri, Mike Awesome, and Scott Steiner.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers is about being dead, and all of the fun things that happen to you when you are. Author Mary Roach approaches a delicate (and sometimes disgusting) subject with humor, without robbing her subjects of their dignity. Believe me, this book is not for the squeamish. While most of it is relatively tame, there is some discussion of rice 'infestations' and other subjects best not discussed at dinner. Readers will learn that a corpse has (or has had) the 'options' of being blown up, shot, eaten, cut up, turned into art, crucified, thrown from heights, and just being left around to rot to see what happens, and what each of them looks (and smells) like.

The author obviously has a strong bent against traditional western burial, for reasons that become obvious after Chapter 3 (I don't know about you, but anal sutures doesn't sound like fun, even if one is dead when it happens). She strongly supports organ donation, and is very convincing about it. She also mentions a few relatively new ideas about what to do with a body, including an option in Sweden, turning the body of your loved one into fertilizer and using it to grow a tree. Interestingly enough, I recently read Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which includes a large family that does exactly this with the dead, using their remains not to fertilize their fields, but a small garden where the dead 'become roses and daffodils and peonies'. Sound pretty decent as it goes, actually.

It's certainly rather morbid, but I imagine that just about anyone is friends with someone who would like this book. If you find the fact that Herophilus took to dissecting live criminals (some accounts claimed over 600 of them) around 300 BC to be an interesting piece of historical trivia, this could be the book for you.

Table of Contents

  1. A head is a terrible thing to waste: Practicing surgery on the dead
  2. Crimes of anatomy: Body snatching and other sordid tales from the dawn of human dissection
  3. Life after death: On human decay and what can be done about it
  4. Dead man driving: Human crash test dummies and the ghastly, necessary science of impact tolerance
  5. Beyond the black box: When the bodies of passengers must tell the story of a crash
  6. The cadaver who joined the Army: The sticky ethics of bullets and bombs
  7. Holy Cadaver: The crucifixion experiments
  8. How to know if you're dead: Beating-heart cadavers, live burial, and the scientific search for the soul
  9. Just a head: Decapitation, reanimation, and the human head transplant
  10. Eat me: Medicinal cannibalism and the case of the human dumplings
  11. Out of the fire, into the compost bin: And other new ways to end up
  12. Remains of the author: Will she or won't she?

ISBN: 0393050939 (Hardcover)
W.W. Norton & Company; April 2003

Stiff (?), a. [Compar. Stiffer (?); superl. Stiffest.] [OE. stif, AS. stif; akin to D. stijf, G. steif, Dan. stiv, Sw. styf, Icel. stifr, Lith. stipti to be stiff; cf. L. stipes a post, trunk of a tree, stipare to press, compress. Cf. Costive, Stifle, Stipulate, Stive to stuff.]


Not easily bent; not flexible or pliant; not limber or flaccid; rigid; firm; as, stiff wood, paper, joints.

[They] rising on stiff pennons, tower The mid aerial sky. Milton.


Not liquid or fluid; thick and tenacious; inspissated; neither soft nor hard; as, the paste is stiff.


Firm; strong; violent; difficult to oppose; as, a stiff gale or breeze.


Not easily subdued; unyielding; stubborn; obstinate; pertinacious; as, a stiff adversary.

It is a shame to stand stiff in a foolish argument. Jer. Taylor.

A war ensues: the Cretans own their cause, Stiff to defend their hospitable laws. Dryden.


Not natural and easy; formal; constrained; affected; starched; as, stiff behavior; a stiff style.

The French are open, familiar, and talkative; the Italians stiff, ceremonious, and reserved. Addison.


Harsh; disagreeable; severe; hard to bear.

[Obs. or Colloq.] "This is stiff news."


7. Naut.

Bearing a press of canvas without careening much; as, a stiff vessel; -- opposed to crank.



Very large, strong, or costly; powerful; as, a stiff charge; a stiff price.


Stiff neck, a condition of the neck such that the head can not be moved without difficulty and pain.

Syn. -- Rigid; inflexible; strong; hardly; stubborn; obstinate; pertinacious; harsh; formal; constrained; affected; starched; rigorous.


© Webster 1913.

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