Definition of toff in English:
- A ban won't just affect a few toffs and their rich country chums.
- Grand ambition: to meet a rich toff and get married
- A generation of rich and eccentric toffs with more money than sense block out what's happening in the world by immersing themselves in one party after another.
mid 19th century: perhaps an alteration of tuft, used to denote a gold tassel worn on the cap by titled undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge.
This is perhaps an alteration of tuft, once a term for titled undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge, who wore a gold tassel on their caps—social climbers and toadies were called tuft-hunters from the mid 18th century. The associations of the word may have influenced toffee-nosed or ‘snobbish’, which was originally military slang. Toffee seems to have been a desirable commodity to soldiers during the First World War— not be able to do something for toffee, or be totally incompetent at it, is first recorded in 1914 in the mouth of a British ‘Tommy’. Toffee (early 19th century) is an alteration of taffy (early 19th century), now mainly used in North America for a sweet resembling toffee. The Taffy that is a name for a Welshman is quite different, representing a supposed Welsh pronunciation of the name David or Dafydd.
Definition of toff in:
- British & World English dictionary
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