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In the early 60's, in northern Ohio (at least), the adjective "tough" was used the way "hot" or "cute" is today. If you said that a girl or guy was "tough," you meant that she or he was a real turn-on.

I'd like to use "tough" in this sense for a story I'm writing set in the early 60s. 

Does anyone recall using the word in this sense back then?

#1 - June 21, 2013, 11:44 AM, children's creativity blog currently in development.

I think I recall seeing it used this way in something of that era, but spelled like "tuff." 

I looked online to see, and found this page which lists "tough" and "tuff" as being basically "cool."

I think by the time I was growing up in the late 70s, it had maybe fallen out of favor in that usage and just gone back to "tough" being just rough and tough, being able to take abuse, streetwise, etc., like "Those boys in The Outsiders were real tough kids."

Oh no.  Bad memories of being clothed in Sears "Tuffskins" jeans, now.  I wanted Levis.

#2 - June 21, 2013, 11:55 AM

Oxford English Dictionary might provide a history of usage.
#3 - June 21, 2013, 12:10 PM
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Realize I didn't include the link above to the 60s slang page:
#4 - June 21, 2013, 01:03 PM

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I remember it used more in the lines of "he thinks he is tuff stuff" as "he thinks he is a hot guy" more from the early 60s not the late 60s.  I am from Northern Indiana.  I don't recall it used in a positive way, mostly derogatory.  But I was such a young thing.  :snork:
#5 - June 21, 2013, 02:08 PM
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