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duff kit
Posted: 17 January 2008 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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bayard - 17 January 2008 12:58 AM

Well it wasn’t really that wild ass.

That makes it a SWAG, a Scientific Wild Ass Guess.

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Posted: 18 January 2008 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Duff was always as you understand it when I was in the US Navy in the 1970’s.  So it was, too, to my father’s generation--at least locally in Wisconsin--who served in WWII.

Nyehyrst

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Posted: 18 January 2008 01:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Oops.  That was in response to oxuson’s original post.

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Posted: 18 January 2008 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I wonder if the conversion of “dopp kit” to “duff kit” was influenced by “duffel bag”.

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Posted: 27 January 2008 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Dr. Techie—Re: “being in the pudding club”, “having a bun in the oven”, and “up the duff” (in the sense of dough rising?) = procreation, but why the term “hasty pudding”—the dessert or the drama club at Harvard?  Alll cooking something up in an amateur way?  And which came first, duffle bag or duff kit?  Is a duffer just a sort of ordinary guy, like a common soldier schlepping his duffle bag, as opposed to an officer/gentleman?

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Posted: 27 January 2008 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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from Merriam Webster: Main Entry: duf·fer
Pronunciation: ‘d&-f&r
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps from duff, n., something worthless
Date: 1756
1 a : a peddler especially of cheap flashy articles b : something counterfeit or worthless
2 : an incompetent, ineffectual, or clumsy person; especially : a mediocre golfer
3 : Australian : a cattle rustler

Also: Main Entry: duf·fel
Variant(s):  or duf.fle /’d&-f&l/
Function: noun
Etymology: Dutch duffel, from Duffel, Belgium
Date: 1677
1 : a coarse heavy woolen material with a thick nap
2 : transportable personal belongings, equipment, and supplies
3 : DUFFEL BAG
4 : DUFFLE COAT

Sounds like our English “stuff” (or German “der Stoff” meaning cloth or fabric)— We use stuff as a noun meaning material as in “showing the stuff he’s made of”, or meaning common or nearly worthless items as in “need to get rid of all that stuff”—and also as a verb meaning to pack with something, “to stuff the stockings” or just “stuff it!” So a duffer might wear a duffle coat made of coarse fabric from Duffel, Belgium, & carry a duffel bag stuffed with generally cheap or duff supplies? ‘Nuff said!

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Posted: 27 January 2008 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Hasty pudding (the dish) is cited back to the late 16th century in the OED; the name seems clearly derived from the fact that it could be made quickly (and from ingredients that would typically be found in any kitchen).  According to their website, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club was founded in 1795 as a social club, whose members took it in turn (alphabetically) to provide a pot of hasty pudding at each meeting.  The club developed a tradition of holding mock trials, and later, staging theatrical productions.  None of this, as far as I know, has anything to do with pregnancy. 

“Duffle bag” is cited back to 1917; the name comes from “duffle” or “duffel” as a kind of cloth, named for the Belgian city of Duffel.  Since “duff kit” (in the sense first asked about) seems to be a recent (and rare) error for “Dopp kit”, which itself is cited back to 1937 (though possibly marketed earlier) and became popular in WWII, clearly “duffle bag” came first.  Neither appears to have anything to do with “duffer”; the etymology of which is uncertain. The earliest sense, “one who sells trashy goods as valuable, upon false pretences” is cited back to 1756; it may be related to the sense of an inept or useless person (1842) or they may be separate words with separate origins.

(All this was being written while you posted your second message).

[ Edited: 27 January 2008 06:48 PM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 28 January 2008 04:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Thanks!  That was fun—reminds me of the duffle coat, of thick wool with hood and toggle fasteners too, which I bought in Switzerland many years ago when I was a student there.  Wish now I’d kept it, knowing its antecedents went back to to the 17th century and was nearly unchanged in style… great winter outerwear for one who became an antique dealer!  ;-)

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Posted: 28 January 2008 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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p.s. for lionello, re “Up the Duff” rhyme idea --

A lovely colleen from our town hall
Won a pageant and then wore her crown tall,
But while she was regnant
She sadly got pregnant
And therein lay the tale of her downfall.

∑:) O’Nashious

[ Edited: 28 January 2008 09:35 AM by ArtLvr ]
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Posted: 28 January 2008 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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The Phrase Finder has this on “up the duff”:

This is all to do with the semi-euphemistic imagery that seems to inhabit the language of things sexual.

Duff is a indeed a boiled pudding. Pudding is also an archaic slang term for penis or, less commonly, semen. The womb/belly = oven metaphor is fairly intuitive.

All of this has lead to the phrases used to describe pregnant women, ‘in the pudding club’, ‘up the duff’, up the stick’, ‘got a bun in the oven’, etc.

Or if you don’t buy that, just sit back and enjoy your time up the duff.

[ Edited: 28 January 2008 11:34 AM by ElizaD ]
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