[Ads-l] boffin, again

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sun Apr 10 16:04:03 UTC 2022

Previously I speculated that OED's two senses, Royal Navy and RAF divided, were not fully divided in sense nor in time, especially when additional uses are considered and when Random Soundings is correctly dated not to 1942 but to 1945.

FWIW, Graves' 1941 Life Line was subject to censorship, e.g. p. 227 has a large blank space midpage, and some names are changed, though that might be beside the point here.

Memoirs--Lord Tedder; J. Rennie Whitehead; R. Hanbury Brown; R. Watson-Watt--likely more importantly claim that boffin was in use in England within 1938-1940 during and among the research that resulted in radar.


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

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