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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
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. 2014.
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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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