Riffing on this?

Baltic Sea

Banned
Polish
Hello all users!

Riffing on this, apparently, Americans later used the word to refer to an ugly, boggy mess.
This term is from Top Ten Lists - Merriam Webster Online - Windows Interpreter Explorer.Under "Loblolly - about the word" is this text:Riffing on this, apparently, Americans later used the word to refer to an ugly, boggy mess.


Does '"riffing on this" mean "basing on this" or "based on this"?

Thank you. The source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/top-10-rare-and-amusing-insults-vol-2/loblolly.html
 
  • Baltic Sea

    Banned
    Polish
    Thank you. So the sentence would go as follows: Speaking amusingly about this, Americans later used the word to refer to an ugly, boggy mess.

    What's your opinion?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I would take it as a cross between riffing in the jazz sense of of extemporising, enlarging, plus riffing as a degree of humour (i.e. changing a foodstuff into a "boggy mess") "The Americans later used the word in an imaginative and joking manner to refer to an ugly, boggy mess."
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I would take it in the jazz sense only. I do not see that speaking humorously is intended at all. Americans were simply extending the meaning, or making variations on it.
     
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