1 a : a peddler especially of cheap flashy articles
b : something counterfeit or worthless
2 : an incompetent, ineffectual, or clumsy person; especially : a mediocre golfer
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.
Most of the people playing in the charity tournament were duffers, but it was all for a good cause.
"The snow is melting, and the grass from the area's golf courses are beginning to look like an oasis, beckoning veterans and duffers alike." - Matt Becker, Observer-Dispatch (Utica, New York), April 12, 2015
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Fill in the blanks to create a word for an incompetent boxer or an oaf: p _ l _ o _ a. The answer is …
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP