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90s Slang You Should Know


[chaf, chahf] /tʃæf, tʃɑf/
verb (used with or without object)
to mock, tease, or jest in a good-natured way; banter:
She chaffed him for working late. They joked and chaffed with each other.
good-natured ridicule or teasing; raillery.
Origin of chaff2
First recorded in 1640-50; perhaps from chaff1
Related forms
chaffingly, adverb
unchaffed, adjective
unchaffing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for chaffed
Historical Examples
  • Joan told me about it at the beginning when I chaffed her about his loving her; and he does, you know he does.

    To Love Margaret Peterson
  • I was not a little elated, and chaffed the Doanes considerably.

    When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens
  • Various dons came up and chaffed me about the opposition I made to the MS. being purchased.

    Masques & Phases Robert Ross
  • The girls and Jim had all the talk, and they chaffed each other merrily.

    A Little Girl in Old New York Amanda Millie Douglas
  • But this sentinel was of such a nervous disposition that he had been chaffed about his timidity more than once.

  • Even a superior officer might be chaffed a little in the darkness.

    The Brigade Commander J. W. Deforest
  • Clay was chaffed unmercifully about the calf, and Nugget also came in for a goodly share of ridicule.

    Canoe Boys and Campfires William Murray Graydon
  • They chaffed him about his expectations, and quizzed him about Rosalind.

    Roger Ingleton, Minor Talbot Baines Reed
  • At first she would n't regard me seriously; she chaffed me and made light of me.

    Roderick Hudson Henry James
  • He chaffed his father and even Anne, and left Lydia out, to her own pain.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
British Dictionary definitions for chaffed


the mass of husks, etc, separated from the seeds during threshing
finely cut straw and hay used to feed cattle
something of little worth; rubbish (esp in the phrase separate the wheat from the chaff)
the dry membranous bracts enclosing the flowers of certain composite plants
thin strips of metallic foil released into the earth's atmosphere to confuse radar signals and prevent detection
Derived Forms
chaffy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English ceaf; related to Old High German keva husk


light-hearted teasing or joking; banter
to tease good-naturedly; banter
Derived Forms
chaffer, noun
Word Origin
C19: probably slang variant of chafe, perhaps influenced by chaff1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chaffed



"husks," Old English ceaf "chaff," probably from Proto-Germanic *kaf- "to gnaw, chew" (cf. Middle Dutch and Dutch kaf, German Kaff), from PIE root *gep(h)- "jaw, mouth" (see jowl (n.1)). Used figuratively for "worthless material" from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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