Well, for the benefit of my fellow furry everythingians, and to add a little bit of old fogy history to this particular node, a few things should be noted about the word "yiff" and its origins and meaning.

Now, first of all, the word has been polluted! Yes, these days it carries virtually nothing beyond sexual connotations of any kind. This was not its original meaning though. I'm not exactly sure how it gained this particular definition, really, but, as one who plays a fox as his character, it's a source of never ending annoyance to me. Mostly I hate the stereotype that goes along with this word and being a fox.

Yes, foxes. This part was and is still valid. The word "yiff" was derived from the anthropomorphic fox language. (Yes, even furries make languages. All you hardcore roleplayers out there can relate to this, including two of my friends who speak Elven and Klingon, respectively. :) This is why all of its sexual connotations have ended up being tagged onto foxes. It's their word, therefore they must be sex-crazed, yiffy maniacs! Bah.

Originally, this word was a greeting, believe it or not. That was basically all it meant, was a "hello" or what not. To continue, "yip" was also a greeting, but it was reserved for more friendly types, not something you would say to a stranger or casual acquaintance. And then, on to the meat! The word "yipp" is where it all comes from. This could also be used as a greeting, but it was far more intimate a word. Think of it as "hello, lover" only perhaps a bit stronger. This word was also to relate sexual feelings, and the like, but I guess no one wanted to say they were feeling "yippy" or something. Sure doesn't work for me, I'll admit..

So, I can somehow see a bit off the correlation, "yipp" moving over to "yiff", and the latter gaining the sexual definition and all that. But still, I just had to say something. What's a node called 'yiff' without a good, proper historical definition for it? Hmm, or something like that, I guess.. YIFF!
According to the player of LittleFox (who actually invented the foxese language that most foxes spoke back in the Good Old Days of Furry Yore), yiff was an actual, honest-to-goodness word.

It just wasn't sexual.

See, the concept was to have a language that expressed emotions, rather than concepts. It was also supposed to be relatively easy for people to figure out the meanings of the words without having someone explain it to them. So, a language developed (quite naturally, too, actually) that ranged from blargh (the most negative sound) to yipp (the most positive sound). After a while, people started overusing the word yipp, so a variant, yiff, came into common being.

A while after that, LittleFox was approached by someone who shall remain nameless who wanted to use the foxese language in an adult role-playing context, and said player of LittleFox grudgingly allowed the most positive word in the language, yiff, to also refer to sex.

Unfortunately, this word has been highly abused and overused. It's now primarily used on FurryMUCK, SPR, Tapestries, and other Furry MUCKs, as well as on irc.slash.net, irc.yiff.net, and other Furry-based IRC servers, by young teenage boys who have no concept of sex other than their own hormones.

Speaking as the person who, in ancient days of yore, played the terrifyingly cute character littlefox (all lowercase!), I have to say that the accounts given above aren't quite correct.

The original foxish language definition was as follows:

    The basic sounds are Yerf, Yip, Yarf, Yaff, Yiff, Growf, and Growlf. The general order of sounds from positive (happy, good, greeting) through neutral to negative (mad, unhappy, no), are: Yiff, Yip, Yerf (positive), Yaff, Yarf (neutral), Growf, and Growlf (negative). Murphle (a sound popularized by some other characters at the time) is a sound of contentment. The basic sound, if modified by an -le suffix, is less absolute, less emphatic. ie: Yiffle is less emphatic than Yiff. There are a couple of words that have somewhat general meaning, though the entire language is rather overloaded. Yerf's are generally used in greetings, though exuberant greetings are Yiffs. Growf means no, and a Yiff means a yes. (an example of the overloading of the language.) There is one term that got defined by someone who shall remain nameless: Yipp is generally considered not polite, as it is basically a sexual proposition.
Later on, some wolves redefined Yiff to more or less take the place of Yipp, as a generic term for sex. It soon became a noun, a verb, an adjective, and about as many other parts of speech as smurf. Oh, and yes, I'm aware that foxes have never made half the sounds listed above. They were cute sounding at the time (about ten years ago). That was reason enough.

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