Main definitions of duff in English

: duff1duff2duff3duff4duff5

duff1

noun

  • [usually with modifier] A flour pudding boiled or steamed in a cloth bag:

    ‘a currant duff’
    • ‘Dinner might be a roast with potatoes and onions, with a duff for pudding.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: northern English form of dough.

Pronunciation:

duff

/dʌf/

Main definitions of duff in English

: duff1duff2duff3duff4duff5

duff2

adjective

British
informal
  • 1Of very poor quality:

    ‘duff lyrics’
    • ‘Although deep down we all know that rugby, like football, is just a game, it's still a form of entertainment and if your favourite rock group starts playing duff songs you stop going.’
    • ‘There isn't a duff track, and while those lyrics are often too clever for their own good, the accompanying tunes usually make up for that.’
    • ‘The extras seem well selected, and there's not a duff model in the entire line up.’
    • ‘I thought I'd bought a duff batch but it seems not to be the case as the CD burner reads them fine.’
    • ‘There are inspirational, committed teachers who stay long after the day is done to run duff football teams.’
    • ‘This past season has seen many duff decisions but also some solid displays.’
    • ‘He has produced a duff documentary.’
    • ‘In other words, comprehensive though this report is, some of it is based on data that the Commission considers a bit duff.’
    • ‘I have dined in many award-winning restaurants and had duff food.’
    • ‘Those duff moments are easily offset by the rest of the set.’
    • ‘They're cheerfully confused by the wealth of programmes on offer and spend their days seeing all the duff stuff instead of what's good.’
    • ‘But the album itself was phenomenal, and the thing is, there's not a duff song on it… it's all amazing.’
    • ‘There has always been the consolation prize of a fabulous single talent trapped inside a duff squad.’
    • ‘The recording quality's a bit duff, though it's tempting to think that the distortions and drop outs are a result of the machinery's inability to capture this music rather than poor engineering.’
    • ‘The man's never made a duff movie.’
    • ‘Gradually she realised that, in the scale of things, picking a duff outfit wasn't so terrible.’
    • ‘With compilation albums you always get at least one or two duff tracks, because someone else's idea of what makes a good compilation will never fit in with your own idea.’
    • ‘I'm too inexperienced an actor to be landed with a duff script.’
    • ‘There's not a duff tune on it, but one track in particular justifies the purchase of the entire album.’
    • ‘I love all kinds of films, except the plotless kind with unconvincing acting, shoddy editing and duff music played on synths.’
    1. 1.1 Incorrect or false:
      ‘she played a couple of duff notes’
      • ‘Do you accept that the intelligence you were actually given was duff intelligence and it's made you look rather a fool in the eyes of the world?’
      • ‘He never hit a duff note, running through Road To Mandalay, Eternity, She's The One and Millennium.’
      • ‘I was thoroughly captivated by the piano concerto, even though I am sure I heard a couple of duff notes.’
      • ‘You see a note on one of the five lines, forget the key signature at the beginning of the line, play it standard rather than as a sharp and end up with one of those horrible duff notes that means you have to stop playing and start from scratch.’

noun

North American, Scottish
  • [mass noun] Decaying vegetable matter covering the ground under trees:

    ‘generally the fires in this area burn the duff and underbrush and scorch a few trees’
    • ‘It appeared on some duff at the edge of a blueberry patch this week.’
    • ‘The forest floor on my land, with its dense layer of needles and duff, burned hotter and harder than the grassy savanna.’
    • ‘Bits of Luna had been ground underneath my fingernails, while sap, with its embedded bits of bark and duff, speckled my arms and hands and feet.’
    • ‘Old hands looked for a spot on the uphill side of a tree, where the years had gathered enough soil, topped with duff, to make a reasonable couch, once a few pine cones and rocks had been removed.’
    • ‘It's about 60 years since this area has burned, and duff is all that stuff that collects for years.’
    • ‘Fires smoldered in damp duff, and in litter compacted by winter's heavy snows.’
    • ‘In 1967 a wildfire there burned a virgin stand of larch, Douglas-fir, and lodgepole pine, killing mature trees and burning the duff to the mineral soil.’
    • ‘The cool shaded layers of leaf mold and general duff of the forest floor, which in the virgin Cascade forests seldom feel the warmth of the sun, constitute an ideal storage medium.’

Origin

Late 18th century (denoting something worthless): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

duff

/dʌf/

Main definitions of duff in English

: duff1duff2duff3duff4duff5

duff3

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1British duff someone upBeat someone up:

    ‘I'm going to go round to his house with a bunch of mates and duff him up’
    • ‘I assumed that to keep the children from duffing each other up I would be required to sit miserably on the sidelines of a soft play centre.’
    • ‘Considering that several players get drunk and duff someone up every week, this could prove to be a valuable source of income.’
    • ‘He insists on sitting on the mat where the door might slam on him, and on challenging the same old bruiser of a female four doors down, who duffs him up every time, leaving him cut and scabby.’
    • ‘Last time we met, I kept thumping her on the leg as a way demonstrating my affection and she duffed me up.’
    • ‘If you did that in England you'd just get duffed up by some bloke with a bit of a lazy eye who thought you were checking out his girlfriend.’
    • ‘I haven't been going out and trying to duff up little kids if they won't give me their pocket money.’
    • ‘What was he going to do, duff me up on the street in front of dozens of people?’
    • ‘And there can hardly be a married woman alive who hasn't, many times, felt inclined to duff up her husband, if not actually to wring his neck.’
    • ‘However, whoever was doing security should be taken outside and duffed up.’
    enhance, bring out, emphasize, show off, throw into relief, point up
    attack, assail, assault, hit, strike, beat, give someone a beating, thrash, pound, pummel, wallop, hammer, tear into, set upon, fall on, turn on, let fly at
    View synonyms
  • 2Australian Steal and alter brands on (cattle):

    ‘complaining to the police that his stock was being duffed’
    • ‘Ward is arrested for duffing - an arrest which he indignantly protests and violently resists.’
    • ‘Gardiner subsequently gained further notoriety from robberies and duffing cattle around Yass and the gold-mining districts.’
  • 3British Golf
    Mishit (a shot):

    ‘he duffed the ball short of the green’
    • ‘The enduring memories of the day will not be the duffed shots, the missed putts or the wind-driven slices and hooks, but the beauty of the course on the riverside at Banpakong.’
    • ‘I'd probably duff my first tee shot at the Masters, but I wouldn't walk away from a challenge.’
    • ‘It also seemed that Mother Earth had her say as the dirt and grass flew on many of the duffed shots.’
    • ‘It looks as if your ball is just sitting up, but you have got to be careful when you take a big swing because your feet move and you can duff your shot entirely.’
    • ‘He proceeded to duff his next two shots and was 150 yards out when he hit his 4th shot into the hole for a birdie four.’

Origin

Early 19th century: of uncertain origin; duff and duff are probably back-formations from duffer and duffer.

Pronunciation:

duff

/dʌf/

Main definitions of duff in English

: duff1duff2duff3duff4duff5

duff4

noun

North American
informal
  • A person's buttocks:

    ‘I did not get where I am today by sitting on my duff’
    • ‘For years the conventional wisdom was that media reform - like campaign finance reform - was too abstract an issue to get people off their duffs and into action.’
    • ‘Now get off your duff and quit forwarding stuff already!’
    • ‘Another two employees were sitting on their duffs on chairs, also doing nothing, though they were apparently stationed where they were stationed for a reason.’
    • ‘These results - like those in some smaller studies - are one more reason to get off your duff.’
    • ‘Also, some people are better set up to pursue longer term goals and others need more immediate rewards to get off their duffs and do anything.’
    • ‘A lifetime of sitting on my duff in front of a computer while wolfing down fast food and snacks fried in lesser snacks has made me too weak and lazy to get up and start any sort of effective protest or take any productive action.’
    • ‘Unless you, dear reader, get off your duff immediately, and take action, your life will be changed forever; and for the worse.’
    • ‘In other words, instead of focusing on the obvious and most media-friendly candidates, let's get off our duffs and not become the branding arm for celebrities, whether journalists or not.’
    • ‘Once Christie was elected, all he did was sit on his duff.’
    • ‘If you owned hundreds of millions of shares in a company, would you be sitting on your duff waiting for him to rush to the rescue and protect your assets?’
    • ‘Note however, that your tailbone is, after all, located in your duff and a hard fall at too sharp an angle will either bruise or fracture the tailbone.’
    • ‘We have to get off our duffs, get our noses out of the TV, and get our children to speak up.’
    • ‘Get off your duff and do jumping jacks during a commercial break.’
    • ‘Perhaps Tracy's achievements will give me the nudge that I need to get off my duff and get this thing done?’
    • ‘What a very worthwhile reason to get out of my house, off of my duff, and start making a difference!’
    • ‘She could fall on her duff and reel about like a drunken party host, but will still finish high in the competition because she is the current national champion.’
    • ‘Yes, you may have to get off your duff to start your vehicle.’
    • ‘Get them off their duff because something that they finally care about, their own bodies, their own choices, their own freedom is being affected.’
    • ‘Spending too much time on your duff tends to weaken the muscles of the lower back and bend the spine out of its natural alignment.’
    • ‘This is just a superficial treatment for now, but we will explain it with examples when our economics guy gets off his duff and finishes the article for us.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

duff

/dʌf/

Main definitions of duff in English

: duff1duff2duff3duff4duff5

duff5

noun

in phrase up the duff
British
informal
  • Pregnant:

    ‘it looks like he's got her up the duff’
    • ‘They fell in love, she got up the duff, he panicked and they're getting married.’
    • ‘He got her up the duff after meeting on the set of forthcoming movie Brokeback Mountain.’
    • ‘Still, the fascination of the Scottish press with whether she is up the duff borders on obsession.’
    • ‘Her cooking skills go all to pot when she's up the duff.’
    • ‘She got up the duff and now they've got hitched.’
    • ‘Anyway, I live in Victoria and I'm up the duff too.’
    • ‘He denies the claims that he got Courtney up the duff.’
    • ‘A number of my acquaintances are up the duff.’
    • ‘There's a whole series of rituals and sensations and topics of conversation that you are excluded from if you're not, or haven't been up the duff.’
    • ‘At the first opportunity, he yakked all about her being up the duff.’
    • ‘She is indeed up the duff and it's all looking good so far.’
    • ‘She's seven months up the duff, and it's surprising that she has decided to pose naked whilst being pregnant.’
    • ‘Pretending that Anthony got her up the duff wasn't a good move.’
    • ‘Although not up the duff, I absolutely fell in love with it.’

Origin

1940s (originally Australian): perhaps related to duff.

Pronunciation:

duff

/dʌf/