Antedating of "boffin"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 12 16:44:15 UTC 2014

On Jun 12, 2014, at 11:00 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> If all conjectures are ungrounded in prior evidence, it seems fair to say
> that the origin is "unknown," even if newly discovered evidence eventually
> shows that one was in fact correct.
> For phonological reasons only, I've always connected "boffin" with
> "puffin."

Indeed. My unfounded speculation involved a blend of "boffo" ["of perhaps imitative origin", although we're not told of what] and "puffin".


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