Definition of duffer
1a : a peddler especially of cheap flashy articlesb : something counterfeit or worthless
2 : an incompetent, ineffectual, or clumsy person; especially : a mediocre golfer
3 Australia : a cattle rustler
duffer was our Word of the Day on 07/14/2015. Hear the podcast!
Examples of duffer in a sentence
We joined the other duffers at the course.
He's a lovable old duffer.
Did You Know?
Duffers have never really been straight shooters-on or off the golf course. The original duffers of the mid-18th century were shysters of the first order, merchants who palmed off trashy goods as if they were highly valuable (they often implied to unwary buyers that the goods had been smuggled and were very rare). Over time, the meaning of duffer was extended from a no-good peddler to anyone who was "no good," not just because the individual had low morals, but because he or she was incompetent or stupid. The term has been applied to hopelessly bad golfers since the late 19th century.
Origin and Etymology of duffer
perhaps from duff, noun, something worthless
First Known Use: 1756
DUFFER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of duffer for English Language Learners
: a person who plays golf without much skill
: a clumsy or awkward person
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