nouninformal, chiefly British
- This time around the authors are not drunken magazine hacks back from a long lunch; they're all eminent scientists, boffins and inventors.
- It is already in use by more than 50 local authorities across the country, and has been given the thumbs-up by boffins at the Transport Research Laboratory.
- In groundbreaking research Leeds University boffins discovered that men relax in pubs.
- BBC1 will devote a Saturday night to the experiment, which should sort out boffins from buffoons by completing a set of brain-teasers.
- As a small business owner, you are not only the head honcho, but also the bean counter, chief salesman, IT boffin, tax specialist and marketing guru too.
- Children are being turned off chemistry and physics by the mad professors and pointy-headed boffins of popular mythology, according to a new study of attitudes to science.
- Example sentences
- It's often portrayed as a pursuit for boffiny men with abnormally high brain-power.
- Championed by boffiny nerds, it appeals to almost everyone at some point in their lives, but rarely elicits strong feelings.
- Now can the bookish, boffiny types out there please explain to me what's going on?
World War II: of unknown origin.
All that is known for sure about boffin is that it originated in the Second World War as naval slang for an older officer. In 1945 there was the first reference to a person engaged in complex scientific or technical research, when The Times wrote of ‘A band of scientific men who performed their wartime wonders at Malvern and apparently called themselves “the boffins” ’. These days a boffin is any person with great skill or knowledge in a difficult or obscure area. But however clever the dictionary boffins are, they still cannot find the origins of the word. The US slang term boff, dating from the 1920s and meaning ‘to have sex with’, is unrelated. It first meant ‘to hit or strike’, and arose as an imitation of the sound of a blow.
Words that rhyme with boffincoffin
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