ooftish, ouftish (money)

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Thu May 22 11:28:26 UTC 2014

Some early uses; note spellings other than ooftisch.
1877, Aug 26 Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper (London)."The letter of Sussman was referred to at trial. It contained the word 'ouftish' (money)." (Birney collection).
1877, Sept. 8 p.5 The Sporting Times [London] "The little Gonoph, who is short of 'ouftish' wants to borrow a pony at a moderate rate of interest...." (19th c UK)
Though the etymology from Yiddish seems well attested, here's a secondary (?) play on Cockney hoof:
1887 Judy, or the London Serio-Comic Journal v.41 p. 92.[concerning payment for damages] "No matter where or how the steed elects to plant his hoofs; if there is an accident the employer must be held liable for damages in the shape of 'ooftish." (Google Books)
Cf Oxford Etymologist blog

Stephen Goranson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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