[hair-ee] /ˈhɛər i/
adjective, hairier, hairiest.
covered with hair; having much hair.
consisting of or resembling hair:
moss of a hairy texture.
adjective hairier, hairiest
having or covered with hair
early 14c., from hair + -y (2). From 1848 in slang sense of “difficult.” Farmer calls this “Oxford slang.” Perhaps from the notion of “rugged, rough.” Related: Hairiness.
hairy hair·y (hâr’ē)
adj. hair·i·er, hair·i·est
[last sense probably fr the hairy monsters of horror films, but the sense of ”difficult” was used at 19th-century Oxford, and that of ”dangerous” in the British armed forces of the 1930s]
1. Annoyingly complicated. “DWIM is incredibly hairy.”
2. Incomprehensible. “DWIM is incredibly hairy.”
3. Of people, high-powered, authoritative, rare, expert, and/or incomprehensible. Hard to explain except in context: “He knows this hairy lawyer who says there’s nothing to worry about.” See also hirsute.
The adjective “long-haired” is well-attested to have been in slang use among scientists and engineers during the early 1950s; it was equivalent to modern “hairy” and was very likely ancestral to the hackish use. In fact the noun “long-hair” was at the time used to describe a hairy person. Both senses probably passed out of use when long hair was adopted as a signature trait by the 1960s counterculture, leaving hackish “hairy” as a sort of stunted mutant relic.
4. hairy ball.
/ˈhɛərɪbæk/ noun 1. (South African, slang) an offensive word for Afrikaner
- Hairy ball
topology A result in topology stating that a continuous vector field on a sphere is always zero somewhere. The name comes from the fact that you can’t flatten all the hair on a hairy ball, like a tennis ball, there will always be a tuft somewhere (where the tangential projection of the hair is zero). […]
- Hairy cell
hairy cell n. White blood cells having multiple processes and characteristically present in hairy cell leukemia where they replace bone marrow.
noun 1. a form of cancer in which abnormal cells with many hairlike cytoplasmic projections appear in the bone marrow, liver, spleen, and blood. hairy cell leukemia n. A lymphocytic leukemia, usually originating with B cells, and characterized by splenomegaly and cells with a ciliated appearance in the spleen, bone marrow, liver, and blood. Also […]