[Ads-l] DUFF

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 24 16:47:55 UTC 2015

On Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 11:02 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> There's a new teen comedy out called "The Duff." In the movie it's
> explained that "DUFF" is an acronym for "Designated Ugly Fat Friend."
> The movie is based on a 2010 YA novel of the same name by Kody
> Keplinger. Urban Dictionary has had an entry for "DUFF" since 2003:
> http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=duff&defid=25336

Here's the earliest I've found for DUFF -- from a June 17, 2001 post
by Steve Hofstetter on CollegeHumor.com:

Do you know what a DUFF is? If you're a guy, you probably do. It's a
Designated Ugly Fat Friend, that hot girls usually have to test how
much a guy really likes them. The DUFF tries to intercept you, and the
hot girl, however subconsciously, sees how you interact with her. But
it's okay because guys have their own secret weapon: their buddy with
a girlfriend who can distract the DUFF while you continue the
conversation. We don't have a short nickname for him, but we usually
call him "the guy that takes one for the team."

(It also appears in Hofstetter's 2003 book "Student Body Shots.")

Urban Dictionary also has:

NUFF = Necessary Ugly Fat Friend (from 2004)
MUFF = Mandatory Ugly Fat Friend (from 2004)
BUFF = Big Ugly Fat Friend (from 2006)
RUFF = Required Ugly Fat Friend (from 2007)



Ben Zimmer

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list