goof-off

[goof-awf, -of]
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Origin of goof-off

First recorded in 1950–55; noun use of verb phrase goof off

goof

[goof]Slang.
verb (used without object)
  1. to blunder; make an error, misjudgment, etc.
  2. to waste or kill time; evade work or responsibility (often followed by off or around): Exam week is not a time to goof off. We goofed around till train time.
verb (used with object)
  1. to spoil or make a mess of (something); botch; bungle (often followed by up): You really goofed up the job.
noun
  1. a foolish or stupid person.
  2. a mistake or blunder, especially one due to carelessness.
  3. a source of fun or cause for amusement: We short-sheeted his bunk just for a goof.
Verb Phrases
  1. goof on, Slang. to tease, ridicule, or mock; make fun of.

Origin of goof

1915–20; apparently variant of obsolete goff dolt < Middle French goffe awkward, stupid
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for goof-off

goof

noun
  1. a foolish error or mistake
  2. a stupid person
verb
  1. to bungle (something); botch
  2. (intr; often foll by about or around) to fool (around); mess (about)
  3. (tr) to dope with drugs
  4. (intr often foll by off) US and Canadian to waste time; idle

Word Origin for goof

C20: probably from (dialect) goff simpleton, from Old French goffe clumsy, from Italian goffo, of obscure 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 goof-off

goof

v.

"waste time," 1932; "make a mistake," 1941, from goof (n.). Goof off "loaf" is also from 1941. Related: Goofed; goofing.

goof

n.

1916, American English, "stupid person," perhaps a variant of English dialect goff "foolish clown" (1869), from 16c. goffe, probably from Middle French goffe "awkward, stupid," of uncertain origin. Or English goffe may be from Middle English goffen "speak in a frivolous manner," possibly from Old English gegaf "buffoonery," and gaffetung "scolding." Sense of "a blunder" is c.1954, probably influenced by gaffe.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper