One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who ruffs at cards. rare.
2Chiefly Whist and Bridge. A card that ruffs or trumps another.
A device for ‘ruffing’ flax, consisting of a board studded with spikes or teeth.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in John Florio (1553–1625), author and teacher of languages. From ruff + -er<br>mid 19th century; earliest use found in Andrew Ure (1778–1857), chemist. Either a variant of rougher, or from ruff + -er.
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