Definition of boffin in US English:

boffin

noun

British
informal
  • 1A person engaged in scientific or technical research.

    ‘a computer boffin’
    • ‘He has set his sights on featuring in an inventors and boffins special.’
    • ‘In March, boffins at the Transport Research Laboratory in Berkshire found that using a mobile phone while driving was more dangerous than being drunk behind the wheel.’
    • ‘Few cricket players or administrators are drawn from the ranks of scientific boffins.’
    • ‘Did you know that boffin means ‘scientific expert’?’
    • ‘The MIT boffins created a physical one-way function by connecting cryptography with mesoscopics, the study of how waves travel in disordered materials.’
    • ‘A boffin has invented a car that runs on grass, or pigeon poo, or privet cuttings.’
    • ‘Some of the initial results of the 2001 Census certainly startled the mathematical boffins.’
    • ‘So what is a computer boffin doing teaching a physical education class?’
    • ‘It is already in use by more than 50 local authorities across the country, and has been given the thumbs-up by boffins at the Transport Research Laboratory.’
    • ‘Aircraft factories broke production records, and a brand-new air defence system was improvised by a mixture of eccentric boffins and a bright young staff of mostly female technicians.’
    • ‘The beach boffins came up with a formula to work out the quality of the grains of sand and its cohesive powers.’
    • ‘Computer boffins working for a Glasgow architect have produced a CD which lets you explore the location and take a peek into the apartments, before a brick has been laid.’
    • ‘This time around the authors are not drunken magazine hacks back from a long lunch; they're all eminent scientists, boffins and inventors.’
    • ‘In groundbreaking research Leeds University boffins discovered that men relax in pubs.’
    • ‘The team of boffins used the computer to find the period of a mathematical function, one of the basic maths building blocks of modern cryptography, doing so in the equivalent of a single CPU cycle.’
    • ‘Using a highly scientific personality test, the boffins behind this genius idea will match you up with one of six potential mates who will then romance you via email.’
    • ‘By getting his name on the starring list, John has qualified to join a bizarre game created by computer boffins at Virginia University in the US which links actors through their films.’
    • ‘He went on to suggest future inventions for boffins to work on: the slamless door, the suckless soup spoon and the trickleless tap.’
    • ‘Although collectors of real Dylan bootlegs will have been aware of this material for years, this spruced-up authorised version is another technical feat from the Columbia boffins.’
    • ‘Now, though, the boffins have seemingly invented a super salmon which is immune to diseases such as ISA and grows six times faster than the rate of normal farmed fish.’
    expert, specialist, authority, genius, mastermind
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person with knowledge or a skill considered to be complex, arcane, and difficult.
      ‘he had a reputation as a tax boffin, a learned lawyer’
      • ‘The boffins also came to the conclusion that the armour was made in a low temperature bush fire and not in a blacksmith's forge as originally thought.’
      • ‘One of the main aims of this Trail is to open the world of archaeology to people beyond the boffins.’
      • ‘What role did he and the intelligence boffins play in compiling the deceitful dossiers last September and February?’
      • ‘Being a boffin, I had access to computers a generation before most people did and I still have a copy of the first program I wrote - in 1967.’
      • ‘This has something to do with the new servers Halo boffins are presently introducing.’
      • ‘It is a day for looking into one's soul - for behaving like one of those virus scanners the boffins have installed on my untrusty laptop.’
      • ‘Fertility expert Professor Winston shot to fame as a TV boffin after presenting a string of award-winning BBC science programmes.’
      • ‘No, plant and science boffins needn't drop everything and arrive in Allen to seek out the rare blue daffodils.’
      • ‘Avid readers and transport boffins will notice that this is the old sign from Melbourne Train Doors.’
      • ‘Children are being turned off chemistry and physics by the mad professors and pointy-headed boffins of popular mythology, according to a new study of attitudes to science.’
      • ‘The boffins work it out by comparing government tax take with national income.’
      • ‘Analysts and IT boffins are confident that the technology is going to be mainstream before very long.’
      • ‘Now, that's quite a brief for a pack of boffins playing with computers.’
      • ‘As a small business owner, you are not only the head honcho, but also the bean counter, chief salesman, IT boffin, tax specialist and marketing guru too.’
      • ‘BBC1 will devote a Saturday night to the experiment, which should sort out boffins from buffoons by completing a set of brain-teasers.’
      • ‘His election reminds me of one of those 1950s science fiction movies in which a mad boffin throws a lever and the poles are reversed.’
      • ‘Some motoring boffins lauded the design, describing it as confident, unapologetic and revolutionary.’
      • ‘Network security breaches and virus attacks are not the realm of only a few teched-up boffins.’
      • ‘Northern hemisphere boffins are clearing their desks ahead of the summer holidays.’
      • ‘He leads an excellent ensemble cast as they battle the elements, politicians and US boffins who think they know better.’
      influence, sway, control, leverage, power, command, weight
      View synonyms

Origin

Second World War: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

boffin

/ˈbäfən//ˈbɑfən/