- a scientist or technical expert.
Origin of boffin
First recorded in 1940–45; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for boffin
Baby Rosamond bundled out backward, dropping Boffin as she did so.
Rosy Posy was too little to have a special chum, so Boffin was her companion.
Then they played other games, in which Boffin joined, and also Marjorie's kitten, Puff.
"It is very well done,—very well, indeed," said Mr. Boffin to him.
"I don't think the Duke will dress himself like that," said Mrs. Boffin.
- British informal a scientist, esp one carrying out military research
- a person who has extensive skill or knowledge in a particular fielda Treasury boffin
- informal someone who is considered to be very clever, often to the exclusion of all non-academic interests
C20: of uncertain origin
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
Word Origin and History for boffin
"person engaged in innovative research," especially in aviation, 1945; earlier "elderly naval officer" (1941), probably from one of the "Mr. Boffins" of English literature (e.g. "Our Mutual Friend").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper