duff

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See also: Duff and DUFF

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Representing a northern pronunciation of dough.

Noun[edit]

duff (plural duffs)

  1. (dialectal) Dough.
  2. A stiff flour pudding, often with dried fruit, boiled in a cloth bag, or steamed
    • 1901, Henry Lawson, short story The Ghosts of Many Christmases, published in Children of the Bush [1]:
      The storekeeper had sent them an unbroken case of canned plum pudding, and probably by this time he was wondering what had become of that blanky case of duff.

Etymology 2[edit]

Origin uncertain; probably imitative.

Noun[edit]

duff (plural duffs)

  1. (Scotland, US) Decaying vegetable matter on the forest floor.
    • 1999, George RR Martin, A Clash of Kings, Bantam 2011, p. 366:
      Out under the trees, some rangers had found enough duff and dry wood to start a fire beneath a slanting ridge of slate.
  2. Coal dust.
  3. (slang) The bits left in the bottom of the bag after the booty has been consumed, like crumbs.
  4. Something spurious or fake; a counterfeit, a worthless thing.
  5. (baseball, slang, 1800s) An error.

Adjective[edit]

duff (comparative duffer, superlative duffest)

  1. (UK) Worthless; not working properly, defective.
    Why do I always get a shopping trolley with duff wheels?
    • 1996, Catherine Merriman, State of Desire, page 155,
      From its surface, he insisted, plain food became ambrosia, water nectar, and the duffest dope would blow your mind.
    • 2003, Film Review, page 315,
      One will win the coveted Hollywood Science Award, which, in Robert′s words “is given in recognition of the duffest science in movie-dom” so it will be worth tuning in to find out what movie stunt wins.
    • 2009, Christopher Fowler, Paperboy, page 225,
      All the other parts were played by a gallery of Dickensian character actors, including Thorley Walters, Francis Matthews and, yes, Michael Ripper, who lent gravitas to the duffest dialogue lines.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (defective): bum (US)
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Origin uncertain; perhaps the same as Etymology 1, above.

Noun[edit]

duff (plural duffs)

  1. (US, slang) The buttocks.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

Originally thieves' slang; probably a back-formation from duffer.

Verb[edit]

duff (third-person singular simple present duffs, present participle duffing, simple past and past participle duffed)

  1. (slang, obsolete) To disguise something to make it look new.
  2. (Australia) To alter the branding of stolen cattle; to steal cattle.
  3. (UK, slang) To beat (up).
    I heard Nick got duffed up behind the shopping centre at the weekend.
  4. (US, golf) To hit the ground behind the ball.
Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]