Main definitions of duffer in English

: duffer1duffer2

duffer1

noun

informal
  • 1An incompetent or stupid person.

    ‘a complete duffer at languages’
    • ‘If any character ever needed canine companionship, it was the old duffer in that play.’
    • ‘We're just a friendly bunch of old duffers who like getting together every now and then, and having a laugh.’
    • ‘The doors opened and two aged citizens emerged, a withered old crow and a thin old duffer.’
    • ‘He made him a life peer in 1998 along with a whole load of other buddies once he'd shipped out some of the old duffers with legislative reform.’
    • ‘For some reason, no matter which production I watch, I'm happy during the first three acts but the minute the old duffer stalks the moors in the storm, I'm lost.’
    • ‘It's very exciting even for an old duffer like me.’
    • ‘It is not as if Bob has ruthlessly ditched loads of old duffers to make way for cutting-edge rock 'n' roll talent.’
    • ‘Alf was a complete duffer when it came to mechanical things such as refilling a ballpoint pen.’
    • ‘By now, you're saying to yourself, who is this whining old duffer?’
    • ‘Don't you think something should be done about it, or at least tell the old duffers to stop making fools of themselves?’
    • ‘It's just so darned much fun to hear these old duffers talking shop and gossip.’
    • ‘Well it's forty-eight hours on, and Lisa and I have successfully settled into our new life and formed a love triangle with a white-haired old duffer called Oscar.’
    • ‘The Tories usually have a laughably naff bunch of old duffers to support them and this time was no different with a couple of new kids on the block.’
    • ‘The two men, patriarchs of the most powerful families in American politics, have been mucking around on boats this week, playing endless rounds of golf and cracking jokes like any pair of genial old duffers.’
    • ‘The wife and I are going to beach resort for a couple of weeks and I thought I'd pick up a couple of pointers so as not to look like a complete duffer!’
    • ‘I am not some old duffer who wants to spoil your fun.’
    • ‘Having queued in order to buy a paper, some old duffer just walks in front of me in order to get served.’
    • ‘But to give the old duffer his due, he isn't the first to attempt such a blatantly bloodsucking sonic hook-up.’
    • ‘He is the lovable old duffer with the frantic, ants-in-the-pants commentating style.’
    • ‘This is probably because she's been lumped with the 25 and over category of performers - easily the worst group, as it's full of mental old duffers who all share the knowledge that this is their very last chance to make a success of themselves.’
    bungler, blunderer, incompetent, oaf, dunce, dolt, dunderhead, fool, idiot, booby, stupid person, moron, cretin, imbecile
    View synonyms
  • 2NZ Australian An unproductive mine.

Origin

Mid 19th century: from Scots dowfart ‘stupid person’, from douf ‘spiritless’.

Pronunciation

duffer

/ˈdʌfə/

Main definitions of duffer in English

: duffer1duffer2

duffer2

noun

Australian
informal
  • A person who steals and alters the brands on cattle.

    • ‘Hundreds have gone missing - but police stock squad troopers are not mounting their thoroughbreds to give chase to the duffers.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: of unknown origin; in use earlier as thieves' slang for ‘someone who sells trashy articles as if they were valuable’.

Pronunciation

duffer

/ˈdʌfə/