boffin

boffin

[bof-in]
noun British Slang.
a scientist or technical expert.

Origin:
1940–45; origin uncertain

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World English Dictionary
boffin (ˈbɒfɪn)
 
n
1.  informal (Brit) a scientist, esp one carrying out military research
2.  a person who has extensive skill or knowledge in a particular field: a Treasury boffin
3.  informal someone who is considered to be very clever, often to the exclusion of all non-academic interests
 
[C20: of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

boffin
"person engaged in innovative research," especially in aviation, 1945; earlier "elderly naval officer" (1941), probably from one of the "Mr. Boffins" of English literature (e.g. "Our Mutual Friend").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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