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90s Slang You Should Know


[skawf, skof] /skɔf, skɒf/
verb (used without object)
to speak derisively; mock; jeer (often followed by at):
If you can't do any better, don't scoff. Their efforts toward a peaceful settlement are not to be scoffed at.
verb (used with object)
to mock at; deride.
an expression of mockery, derision, doubt, or derisive scorn; jeer.
an object of mockery or derision.
Origin of scoff1
1300-50; Middle English scof; origin uncertain, but compare Old Norse skopa to scorn
Related forms
scoffer, noun
scoffingly, adverb
1. gibe. Scoff, jeer, sneer imply behaving with scornful disapproval toward someone or about something. To scoff is to express insolent doubt or derision, openly and emphatically: to scoff at a new invention. To jeer suggests expressing disapproval and scorn more loudly, coarsely, and unintelligently than in scoffing: The crowd jeered when the batter struck out. To sneer is to show by facial expression or tone of voice ill-natured contempt or disparagement: He sneered unpleasantly in referring to his opponent's misfortunes.
3. praise. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for scoffer
Historical Examples
  • Not a man present, believer or scoffer, but breathed a silent prayer.

    Where the Trail Divides Will Lillibridge
  • I come from the Chief—but I had not expected to find Simwa, the scoffer, before me.

    The Arrow-Maker Mary Austin
  • Now I'm going to play safe and make myself very, very wise on some subjects regarding which I've been a bit of a scoffer.

    The Bachelors William Dana Orcutt
  • I am delighted to testify to these things, because I had formerly been a scoffer.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • It would never do for the scoffer to become a convert openly and at once.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • We know truth when we see it, let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • When his health was good and his spirits high he was a scoffer.

  • Said I was a scoffer and an infidel and didn't know anything about Scripture! '

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • A brave man, who is not a scoffer, attacks the doctrine of non-resistance, and lays down his life for the faith that is in him.

    Forty-one Thieves Angelo Hall
  • "You are a scoffer," the other reproached him, and his rascally face was oddly grave.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for scoffer


(intransitive) often foll by at. to speak contemptuously (about); express derision (for); mock
(transitive) (obsolete) to regard with derision
an expression of derision
an object of derision
Derived Forms
scoffer, noun
scoffing, adjective
scoffingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: probably from Scandinavian; compare Old Frisian skof mockery, Danish skof, skuf jest


to eat (food) fast and greedily; devour
food or rations
Word Origin
C19: variant of scaff food; related to Afrikaans, Dutch schoft quarter of the day, one of the four daily meals
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 scoffer

late 15c., agent noun from scoff (v.).



mid-14c., "jest, make light of something;" mid-15c., "make fun of, mock," from the noun meaning "contemptuous ridicule" (c.1300), from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse skaup, skop "mockery, ridicule," Middle Danish skof "jest, mockery;" perhaps from Proto-Germanic *skub-, *skuf- (cf. Old English scop "poet," Old High German scoph "fiction, sport, jest, derision"), from PIE *skeubh- "to shove" (see shove (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for scoffer



Food: Beef heart is their favorite scoff (1846+)


  1. To eat or drink, esp voraciously; scarf: I'll take you over so you can scoff (1846+)
  2. To steal; seize; plunder; swipe: Who scoffed my butts? (1893+)

[or-igin uncertain; perhaps fr Afrikaans schoft, defined in a 1600s dictionary as ''eating time for labourers or workmen foure times a day''; perhaps fr British dialect scaff; South African use in current senses is attested in late 1700s]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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