duffer

[ duhf-er ]
/ ˈdʌf ər /

noun

Informal.
  1. a plodding, clumsy, incompetent person.
  2. a person inept or inexperienced at a specific sport, as golf.
Northern and North Midland U.S. an old man, especially a dull or indecisive one.
Slang.
  1. anything inferior, counterfeit, or useless.
  2. a peddler, especially one who sells cheap, flashy goods.

Origin of duffer

1835–45; perhaps Scots dialect duffar, dowfart “dull, stupid person,” derivative of dowf; def 3 perhaps re-formation with duff3 + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for duffer

British Dictionary definitions for duffer

duffer

/ (ˈdʌfə) /

noun

informal a dull or incompetent person
slang something worthless
dialect a peddler or hawker
Australian slang
  1. a mine that proves unproductive
  2. a person who steals cattle

Word Origin for duffer

C19: 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 duffer

duffer


n.

"inept person; old man," especially "bad golfer," 1842, perhaps from Scottish duffar "dull or stupid person," from dowf "stupid," literally "deaf," from Old Norse daufr, with pejorative suffix -art. Or perhaps from 18c. thieves' slang duff (v.) "to dress or manipulate an old thing and make it look new."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper