A very interesting website about the war years in Cumbria. I particularly liked the description of your average Spiv - right down to the cigarette in the mouth and hat pulled low over the eyes. Well worth a read.
Post by Dave Homewood on May 21, 2021 22:26:51 GMT 12
The page states, "“Spiv” was the slang word for a black marketeer."
The word SPIV comes from the abbreviation of two laws brought in to give police more powers to question, detail and arrest anyone looking suspicious. They were 'Suspicious Person' which allowed cops to question and search them. And 'Itinerant Vagrant', giving them the power to order a person who has been loitering to move on. I guess the media put SP and IV together.