“Skiffy” is fandom’s pronunciation for sci-fi, a term many fen disapprove of.
As sci-fi began to lose its pejorative edge – new fans entering the microcosm used it in the mundane fashion, as a shorthand way to say "science fiction," and could not easily be re-educated to its fannish connotations with campy monster movies – Lizzy Lynn and others at the SFWA's 1976 Nebula Awards banquet began pushing for the alternate pronunciation of "skiffy" to retain that edge. Thus, the tongue-in-cheek comment, "Hoi polloi pronounce it psi phi, but we cognoscenti call it skiffy," did not actually coin the term but helped promote its use.
The pronunciation was further spread throughout fandom when California’s SCIFI began to use it for its initialism.
See also: Sci-fi, Stf.
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