Now, spifflication is a word I’ve not heard nor read for a long time, let alone spoken. I saw it today on Margaret Rose Stringer’s blog. (I never did get around to taking part in her Love It Or Hate It challenges)
I first heard the word in the late 1960s, whilst in Grade Six, at George Street State School in Hamilton. My teacher suggested he would spifflicate me if I failed to get my Herald, the swimming qualification for swimming 25 yards. I had already failed to swim the distance the last Friday session, only making it about 12 feet from the end before standing up. When I saw him next he asked me how I went, and I recall saying something smart like “Start spifflicating!”
I achieved my Herald the following Friday, but only after I remembered being told the last time, that I could have dog-paddled the last bit. So that is what I did. I always have trouble with the breathing part and lying around reading in a home-made chaff bag hammock isn’t conducive to being fit!
I used the word a lot to my younger siblings, in a threatening manner, for some time afterwards.