1. Informal.
    1. a plodding, clumsy, incompetent person.
    2. a person inept or inexperienced at a specific sport, as golf.
  2. Northern and North Midland U.S. an old man, especially a dull or indecisive one.
  3. Slang.
    1. anything inferior, counterfeit, or useless.
    2. a peddler, especially one who sells cheap, flashy goods.


  1. informal a dull or incompetent person
  2. slang something worthless
  3. dialect a peddler or hawker
  4. Australian slang
    1. a mine that proves unproductive
    2. a person who steals cattle

“inept person; old man,” especially “bad golfer,” 1842, perhaps from Scottish duffar “dull or stupid person,” from dowf “stupid,” literally “deaf,” from Old Norse daufr, with pejorative suffix -art. Or perhaps from 18c. thieves’ slang duff (v.) “to dress or manipulate an old thing and make it look new.”

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