• synonyms


[naf]Chiefly British Slang.
  1. unstylish; lacking taste; inferior.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to goof off; fool around (often followed by around or about).
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Verb Phrases
  1. naff off, go away: used as an exclamation of impatience.
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Related formsnaff·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for naff


  1. British slang inferior; in poor taste
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Derived Formsnaffness, noun

Word Origin

C19: perhaps back slang for fan, short for fanny
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 naff


British slang word with varied uses, not all certainly connected; see Partridge, who lists three noun uses: 1. "female pudenda" (c.1845), which might be back-slang from fan, shortening of fanny (in the British sense); 2. "nothing," in prostitutes' slang from c.1940; 3. a euphemism for fuck (v.) in oaths, imprecations, expletives (e.g. naff off), 1959, "making it slightly less obvious than eff" [Partridge]; and an adjective naff "vulgar, common, despicable," said to have been used in 1960s British gay slang for "unlovely" and thence adopted into the slangs of the theater and the armed forces.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper