Some interesting developments here. I once used the word sarky in a thread, assuming everyone knew it. I remember this because you, LH, said you thought it was a typo of snarky until you looked it up and found it was a chiefly Brit abbreviation of sarcastic. So I found it passing strange (luvviespeak) that you didn’t bother looking up luvvie when it was an important element in two of my posts you responded to. If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was a clumsy attempt at a studied insult. More importantly, you say you move in luvvie circles (despite merely hazarding a guess at what luvvie means instead of looking it up) which is cheering news (you’d make a splendid Malvolio) because it means you can ask the ones you know if they’ve ever used or heard anyone say Henry Five, etc. We need all the anecdotal evidence we can get as it’s impossible to research online, as I said…
OP, I reckon there must be instances of this online, if only British writers taking the mickey. The Burgess quote I used above can be found but only if you already know it and use very precise search terms. Google Books has scanned it. Auto-correct seems to militate against looking up solecisms for research.
I found an interesting luvvie entry in TV tropes which has a few American references and…
In early seasons, QI used to have a “Luvvie Alarm” they would set off when a panellist was judged to have crossed into this territory while telling a story. Stephen Fry and John Sessions were both guilty. In the “Films & Fame” episode (for the sake of which it was a good thing they’d retired the alarm a long time before, or else Sessions would have singlehandedly caused a power outage in the studio), we got this exchange:
Emma Thompson: You know the word “luvvie”?
Emma: What do you all feel about it?
Stephen: [sigh] I mean, I’m not going to get as upset as some actors do — some actors say, “We do a bloody hard job of work, we’re serious people, you know, it’s a coal face, doing a play! How dare they call us luvvies!” I think that’s a bit overdone. On the other hand, it’s a bit tedious when the Daily Mail says “luvvie couple XYZ,” or something....
Emma: Do you know what the first citation of it is in the OED?
Emma: It’s you.
[cue My God, What Have I Done? reaction from Stephen; eventually the previously-retired Luvvie Alarm goes off in reaction to the discussion
Imagine the signal honour of getting in the OED or Websters Three. I remember the Conti Affair which led to widespread mockery. This is exactly what we want from our luvvies. They add colour and unintentionally amuse much like someone here. They are often at their best when talking about their craft. There may be no American equivalent of the word because theirs are a lot less precious than ours and the big names come from TV and film rather than their having trod the boards in the Scottish Play etc. Colbert strikes me as more ham than luvvie despite his having served an apprenticeship in improv. I recently heard the British comedian Richard Herring refer to it as ‘impro’ so it looks like I was wrong when I said Britons also said ‘improv’ in my OP.