goof around

goof

[goof] Slang.
verb (used without object)
1.
to blunder; make an error, misjudgment, etc.
2.
to waste or kill time; evade work or responsibility (often followed by off or around ): Exam week is not a time to goof off. We goofed around till train time.
verb (used with object)
3.
to spoil or make a mess of (something); botch; bungle (often followed by up ): You really goofed up the job.
noun
4.
a foolish or stupid person.
5.
a mistake or blunder, especially one due to carelessness.
6.
a source of fun or cause for amusement: We short-sheeted his bunk just for a goof.
Verb phrases
7.
goof on, Slang. to tease, ridicule, or mock; make fun of.

Origin:
1915–20; apparently variant of obsolete goff dolt < Middle French goffe awkward, stupid

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World English Dictionary
goof (ɡuːf)
 
n
1.  a foolish error or mistake
2.  a stupid person
 
vb (often foll by off)
3.  to bungle (something); botch
4.  (intr; often foll by about or around) to fool (around); mess (about)
5.  (tr) to dope with drugs
6.  (US), (Canadian) to waste time; idle
 
[C20: probably from (dialect) goff simpleton, from Old French goffe clumsy, from Italian goffo, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

goof
1916, Amer.Eng., "stupid person," perhaps a variant of Eng. dial. goff "foolish clown" (1869), from 16c. goffe, probably from M.Fr. goffe "awkward, stupid," of uncertain origin. Or Eng. goffe may be from M.E. goffen "speak in a frivolous manner," possibly from O.E. gegaf "buffoonery," and gaffetung "scolding."
Sense of "a blunder" is c.1954, probably infl. by gaffe. The verbal meaning "waste time" is 1932; the verb meaning "make a mistake" is from 1941. Goof off "loaf" is also from 1941. Adj. goofy is attested from 1921. The Disney character of that name began life as Dippy Dawg c.1929. Goofball "narcotic" is from 1938; as an intensive of goof, it dates from 1959.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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