Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Wed Jan 24 12:00:34 UTC 2001

It's a good description of 'naff', I think, but the meaning extends beyond
fashion-style to anything life-stylish.  E.g., a grad student was talking
about how she wished she had someone to go swimming with, but she didn't
want to join a swim club because "That's a bit naff, innit?"


--On Wednesday, January 24, 2001 11:14 am +0100 Grant Barrett
<gbarrett at MONICKELS.COM> wrote:

> We've discussed this Britishism before, but this comes from today's New
> York Observer. What are the odds it's true?
> "I recently found out the origin of the word naff. Now widely used in the
> U.K. to mean "a depressing lack of style," naff was originally a gay
> slang acronym for "Not Available For Fucking," i.e., "straight" (i.e.,
> "dreary"). Naff is a great word with no American translation. Remember,
> tacky means "cheap or glitzy," whereas naff is about stylistic
> shortcomings which are horrifyingly average and pathetically un-groovy.
> Use the word naff and become a connoisseur of naff. After all, it is a
> vanishing commodity"
> --
> Grant Barrett

M Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

phone +44-(0)1273-678844
fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

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