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"to hit," 1877, imitative (as a sound effect, from 1847). Related: Biffed; biffing. As a noun, attested from 1881.
/bif/ (Or "B1FF", from Usenet) The most famous pseudo, and the prototypical newbie. Articles from BIFF are characterised by all uppercase letters sprinkled liberally with bangs, typos, "cute" misspellings (EVRY BUDY LUVS GOOD OLD BIFF CUZ HE'S A K00L DOOD AN HE RITES REEL AWESUM THINGZ IN CAPITULL LETTRS LIKE THIS!!!), use (and often misuse) of fragments of chat abbreviations, a long sig block (sometimes even a doubled sig), and unbounded naivete. BIFF posts articles using his elder brother's VIC-20. BIFF's location is a mystery, as his articles appear to come from a variety of sites. However, BITNET seems to be the most frequent origin. The theory that BIFF is a denizen of BITNET is supported by BIFF's (unfortunately invalid) electronic mail address:
[1993: Now It Can Be Told! My spies inform me that BIFF was originally created by Joe Talmadge
/bif/ To notify someone of incoming mail. From the BSD utility "biff(1)", which was in turn named after a friendly golden Labrador who used to chase frisbees in the halls at UCB while 4.2BSD was in development (it had a well-known habit of barking whenever the mailman came). No relation to BIFF.