[Ads-l] It=?UTF-8?Q?=E2=80=99s_a_bird=3B_It=E2=80=99s_a_plane=3B_It=E2=80=99s_?=a boffin

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 19 11:08:41 UTC 2022

Mark Mandel wrote:
> Make that a "baffining" question.

A 1950 book of slang does claim that "boffin" is partially derived
from "baffle".

Year: 1950 Copyright
Title: Sea Slang of the Twentieth Century: Royal Navy, Merchant Navy,
Yachtsmen, Fishermen, Bargemen, Canalmen, Miscellaneous
Author: Wilfred Granville
Quote Page 40
Publisher: The Philosophical Library, New York
Database: Internet Archive

[Begin excerpt]
boffins. In the Navy, officers over the age of thirty-five. (In the
R.A.F., ‘backroom boys’ or scientists.) The name is partly echoic; cf.
the dialectal boffle for baffle.
[End excerpt]


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

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