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duff kit
Posted: 13 January 2008 09:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This is not so much a question about word origins as about whether a term exists, at least with the definition that I have grown up believing it has.

I have, for as long as I can remember, used “a duff kit” to refer to a toiletries bag. Now, when I look for the term in the dictionary or online, I find no such meaning. The closest I’ve come is finding references to “duff kit” meaning roughly “shoddy gear”, which is unrelated to my usage.

My brother confirms that he understands “a duff kit” to mean a toiletries bag. My first thought was that it was perhaps a regional usage. But we grew up in and around New York City; you’d think there’d be some trace on the web of a New York term. I’ve also tried variant spellings for possible homonyms ("duf", “duffe”, “duph”, “dough”, etc.), to no avail.

Any insights?

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Posted: 13 January 2008 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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"Dopp kit”?

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Posted: 13 January 2008 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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D Wilson - 13 January 2008 09:22 PM

“Dopp kit”?

Dopp kit is it! A trademark, familiar to WWII GIs.

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-dop1.htm

Thank you, D. Wilson.

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Posted: 14 January 2008 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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What does “duff” mean in Britain? Judging by some blogs, it must mean broken down or worn out. Boy, those Brits take their archery seriously. A little like American car blogs. I had to read three-fourths of the way down the page before I could even figure out what sport they were discussing.

On another front, I had always assumed the famous Duff beer, Homer’s favorite (I’m more a fan of Fudd beer, and I haven’t gone blind yet) was a not-so-veiled reference to duff as rear-end. Wikipedia, at least, doesn’t seem to place much credence in this. Looks like duff has gone out of general usage. Speaking of Homer, he, Joe Montana, Iron Pyrite, and certain luminaries on this board were all born in 1956.  Must have been a good year. Bill Gates missed out by a couple of months, I’m sure to his chagrin.

[ Edited: 14 January 2008 06:13 AM by Iron Pyrite ]
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Posted: 14 January 2008 06:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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"Duff beer” to Rightpondian ears suggests beer that’s not very good: worthless, poor-quality, worn out, not working properly would be other synonyms. “Duff info” or “duff gen” would be spurious or false information. We don’t have the “rear end” meaning of “duff”, though to be “up the duff” means to be pregnant, and to “duff someone up” means to beat them up, while a “duffer” is an incompetent person. And “plum duff” is a boiled raisin pudding similar to the famous spotted dick .

My brother was born in ‘56 ...

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Posted: 14 January 2008 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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My brother was born in ‘56 ...

That’s close enough for this club. I still say Mr. Gates should be blackballed. One has standards, after all.

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Posted: 15 January 2008 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Iron Pyrite - 14 January 2008 05:54 AM

Boy, those Brits take their archery seriously.

There’s still an urban myth here that it’s still illegal not to practise one’s archery on Sunday . . . Actually I think its from the fact that Edward I banned all other sports on Sunday to ensure people had to practice their archery.

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Posted: 15 January 2008 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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There’s a Dutch word ‘duf’ which generally means ‘drowsy, bored’ or ‘boring’. A dull person or clothes can be called ‘duf’. A party can be ‘duf’. Originally it meant ‘stale’. Neither WNT nor EWN nor Van Dale link it to the English word. It appears to have evolved from ‘dof’ (dull) influenced by ‘muf’ (stale).

I know: words aren’t related unless proven otherwise, so we’ll have to file this under ‘coincidence’.

Oh, and did I ever mention I was born in 1956?

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Posted: 16 January 2008 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Zythophile - 14 January 2008 06:57 AM

to be “up the duff” means to be pregnant,

Could that be Cockney rhyming slang?

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Posted: 16 January 2008 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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What would be the more direct term for “pregnant” that it rhymes with?

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Posted: 16 January 2008 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Dr. Techie - 16 January 2008 11:49 AM

What would be the more direct term for “pregnant” that it rhymes with?

Or it might even rhyme with “pregnant” itself, though I can’t think of any rhymes for “pregnant”.....

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Posted: 16 January 2008 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I thought maybe you had something specific in mind, not just a WAG that it’s rhyming slang.  My mistake.

One sense of “duff” is dough (based on variant pronunciation analogous to “tough") or a dumpling or pudding, as Z mentioned above.  The OED suggests “up the duff” may be a cooking allusion similar to “having a bun in the oven” or “in the pudding club” (I don’t recall having heard the latter before).  I don’t quite get how “up the” comes into it, though.

Originally Australian, it says.

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Posted: 16 January 2008 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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though I can’t think of any rhymes for “pregnant”.....

regnant?

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Posted: 16 January 2008 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Dr. Techie - 16 January 2008 01:10 PM

I thought maybe you had something specific in mind, not just a WAG that it’s rhyming slang.  My mistake.

Rather than consider all possible synonyms for pregnant and all possible words that could be linked to “duff”, I was hoping someone with a better command of Cockney rhyming slang than me might recognise the expression…

Originally Australian, it says.

..but presumably in vain.

PS what does WAG stand for?  Wild something Guess?

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Posted: 16 January 2008 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Yes, Wild Ass Guess.

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Posted: 17 January 2008 12:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Well it wasn’t really that wild ass.  The first time I came across the phrase it was said in a Cockney accent. I’m not trying to start a sort of Cockney CANOE. (Boot?) (and yes I did just make that up)

[ Edited: 17 January 2008 10:18 AM by bayard ]
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