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oaf

[ohf] /oʊf/
noun
1.
a clumsy, stupid person; lout.
2.
a simpleton; dunce; blockhead.
3.
Archaic.
  1. a deformed or mentally deficient child.
  2. a changeling.
Origin of oaf
1615-1625
1615-25; variant of auf, Middle English alfe, Old English ælf elf; cognate with German Alp nightmare
Related forms
oafish, adjective
oafishly, adverb
oafishness, noun
Can be confused
oaf, oath.
Synonyms
1. churl, boor. 2. dolt, ninny.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for oafish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Didn't he have enough self-control just to ignore Symes and his oafish insults?

    Pagan Passions Gordon Randall Garrett
  • He was blaming himself bitterly now for his oafish clumsiness in blurting out the news so abruptly.

    The Adventures of Sally P. G. Wodehouse
  • He looked like an oafish clod, even viewed objectively, and Forrester was making no efforts in that direction.

    Pagan Passions Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for oafish

oaf

/əʊf/
noun
1.
a stupid or loutish person
Derived Forms
oafish, adjective
oafishly, adverb
oafishness, noun
Word Origin
C17: variant of Old English ælfelf
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for oafish
adj.

1610s, from oaf + -ish. Related: Oafishly; oafishness.

oaf

n.

1620s, auf, oph (modern form from 1630s), "a changeling; a foolish child left by the fairies" [Johnson], from a Scandinavian source, cf. Norwegian alfr "silly person," in Old Norse, "elf" (see elf). Hence, "a misbegotten, deformed idiot." Until recently, some dictionaries still gave the plural as oaves.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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