doofus

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Perhaps an alteration of earlier goofus (first attested in the 1920s), due to influence from Scots doof ("simpleton"). Scots doof is derived from Low Saxon doof ("deaf"), which has a secondary sense: "idiotic". The Low Saxon word is cognate with English deaf.

Some have proposed that perhaps dupe played some kind of role in the development of doofus as well.

Goofus appears to be a fanciful extension of goof, perhaps taking its ending from ignoramus. Goof likely originated as an alteration of the (now obsolete) English goff ("a clown")—compare English geek, which originated as an alteration of geck ("simpleton")—but any of its history prior to that is up for debate, and difficult to precisely trace.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • Rhymes: -uːfəs
  • IPA(key): /ˈduːfəs/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

doofus (plural doofuses or doofi)

  1. (slang) A person with poor judgment and taste.
    Stocks Genius or Dot-Com Doofus? – Wired News
    Danny is such a doofus!
    • 1998, Ann Rule, In the Name of Love, in In the Name of Love and Other True Cases: Ann Rule's Crime Files Volume 4, page 185,
      Nichols had called Bonilla a doofus who was too damn stupid to realize that he was being taken by a hooker with a convincing sob story.
      Even if Steve was a doofus, Nichols and Rand were quite willing to work for him as long as he had money.
    • 2000, Roger L. Welsch, Love, Sex and Tractors[1], page 16:
      They weren't excited about acquiring new information; they were relieved to find out they aren't the only doofuses (or maybe the word is "doofi") in the world of rusty machinery.
    • 2005 October 17, Kevin Amorin, Mewsday, quoted in 2007, Troth Wells, T-Shirt, page 14,
      Being too young to attend a show on Bowie's 1983 Serious Moonlight tour, I did what any underage doofus would do. I bought a concert T-shirt – three-quarter-length blue sleeves, image of Major Tom himself on the front.
    • 2009, B. K. Holway, When Jack Was with Us[2], page 115:
      "I never seen so many doofuses in one place!"
      "That's doofi, Krakauer. Sorry to correct you."
    • 2014, G. Richard Bozarth, Bible Tales for Ages 18 and Up[3], page 219:
      "No problem. You get a bimbo babe who's engaged to a doofus who will fall for the virgin birth line and still marry her. [] However, I don't think a doofus fiancé will be hard to find; there's no shortage of doofuses on the earth."

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