Perhaps short for landloafer, possibly a partial translation of German Landläufer (compare dialectal German loofen (“to run”), and English landlouper); or more likely connected to Middle English love, loove, loffinge, looffinge (“a remnant, the rest, that which remains or lingers”), from Old English lāf (“remainder, residue, what is left”) (more at lave), which is akin to Scots lave (“the rest, remainder”), Old English lǣfan (“to let remain, leave behind”) (more at leave).
loafer (plural loafers)
- An idle person.
- 1923, George Washington Ogden, “Chapter 2”, in The Baron of Diamond Tail:
- Along this unequal way, where loafers sat on whittled benches, lounged in doorways, leaned against porch props, Dan Gustin went pegging in his high-heeled boots like a mule in a Mexican chain hobble, holding a straight course for the hotel, past the doors of temptation.
- A shoe with no laces, resembling a moccasin.
- 2023 May 31, Nigel Harris, “Comment: GBR now! We have no Plan B”, in RAIL, number 984, page 3:
- Someone must explain to Sunak about the time bomb ticking beneath his £1,000 loafers.
- (idle person): bum, bumpkin, footler, idler, lout, yob, yobbo
- (footwear): penny loafer
- See also Thesaurus:idler
From American Spanish lobo (“wolf”) (/ˈloβo/), reinterpreted as or conflated with loafer (“idler”); compare the alternative forms which reflect other re-interpretations and conflations. Doublet of lupus and wolf.
loafer (plural loafers)
- (Southwestern US dialects) A wolf, especially a grey or timber wolf.
- 1964, Ike Blasingame, Dakota Cowboy: My Life in the Old Days, page 72:
- The great menace to livestock, other than the continual battle with cold, [...] was the gray wolf. [...] The big loafers came in from everywhere.
- 2010, Cynthia K. Rhodes, Lucille Mulhall: An Athlete of Her Time, →ISBN:
- Cowboys had killed “loafers” at five hundred yards away with rifles. [...] Lucille was not like most cowhands and she sets out to capture the "loafer" with her lariat.
- 2016, Patrick Dearen, A Cowboy of the Pecos, page 128:
- By the 1890s loafers had become such a problem that some newly organized counties, as well as certain cattle outfits, paid bounties for their scalps. For a cowboy making a dollar or so a day, wolf-hunting could be lucrative.
- Often used in compound with "wolf": "loafer wolf".
- Robert N. Smead, Vocabulario Vaquero/Cowboy Talk: A Dictionary of Spanish Terms from the American West
- Synonym of .
|Inflection of loafer (Kotus type 6/paperi, no gradation)|
|comitative||See the possessive forms below.|