Follow-up on sluff - play hooky, slack off

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 23 02:10:00 UTC 2011

The 1991 film, _Ballad of the Sad Cafe_, set in rural Georgia in 1932, has
the line, "That nigger boy! He's sloughin'! He's sloughin'! No lollygaggin'

It means "sloughing off."  I don't recall ever encountering it w/o the

Presumably the 1924 "sluffer" didn't "slough things off." He just sloughed


On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 11:17 AM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at>wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       victor steinbok <aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Follow-up on sluff - play hooky, slack off
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I have not been following this thread closely, but I can report, with
> certainty, that "sluff" and "sluff off" was used by one of our bridge
> players (a New Yorker) in 1985 (and years following, of course). He used it
> both with and without "off" with _no change in meaning_. It's possible he
> picked it up from reading bridge columns, as most of us learned to play
> bridge in college, largely teaching each other, although some already knew
> Hearts and/or Spades. But I did not get the sense that this was something
> new for him.
> VS-)
> On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 2:36 AM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:
> > ...
> > Transitive "sluff" - without "off" - has the same meaning as "discard"
> > in the playing-bridge-or-any-other-variant-of-whist sense.
> > ...
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