noun British Slang.
a scientist or technical expert.

1940–45; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
boffin (ˈbɒfɪn)
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
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"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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