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noun Scot. and North England.
  1. merriment; playful behavior; foolishness.
  2. Archaic. insanity.
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Origin of daffing

First recorded in 1525–35; daff1 + -ing1


verb (used without object) Scot. and North England.
  1. to make sport; dally; play.
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Origin of daff1

1525–35; v. use of daff (obsolete) a fool, Middle English daffe (noun); see daft


verb (used with object)
  1. Archaic. to turn or thrust aside.
  2. Obsolete. to doff.
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Origin of daff2

First recorded in 1590–1600; alteration of doff
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for daffing

Historical Examples

  • Is there any reason to refrain from laughing and daffing while at that work?

    An Orkney Maid

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

  • I hae had mony a day's daffing wi' Jean's mither, and they say she bides on wi' them.

    Bride of Lammermoor

    Sir Walter Scott

  • It was just daffing, I tell ye: daffing, and nae mair: a piece of fun, like!

  • This was the more characteristic, as, for all his daffing, he was a modest and very polite little fellow among ourselves.

  • One of our chief times of daffing was when he required a horse, another bottle, or some money.

    The Master of Ballantrae

    Robert Louis Stevenson

British Dictionary definitions for daffing


  1. informal short for daffodil
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  1. (intr) mainly Scot to frolic; play the fool
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Word Origin

C16: from obsolete daff fool, 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