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off-the-cuff

[awf-th uh-kuhf, of-] /ˈɔf ðəˈkʌf, ˈɒf-/
adjective
1.
with little or no preparation; extemporaneous; impromptu:
a speaker with a good off-the-cuff delivery.
Origin
1940-1945
1940-45

cuff1

[kuhf] /kʌf/
noun
1.
a fold or band serving as a trimming or finish for the bottom of a sleeve.
2.
a turned-up fold, as at the bottom of a trouser leg.
3.
the part of a gauntlet or long glove that extends over the wrist.
4.
a separate or detachable band or piece of fabric worn about the wrist, inside or outside of the sleeve.
5.
an elasticized, ribbed, or reinforced band at the top of a sock or stocking.
6.
a band of leather or other material, wider than a collar, sewed around the outside of the top of a shoe or boot to serve as a trimming or finish.
7.
8.
Anatomy. a bandlike muscle or group of muscles encircling a body part.
9.
Furniture. a horizontal strip of veneer used as an ornament on a leg.
10.
Medicine/Medical. an inflatable wrap placed around the upper arm and used in conjunction with a device for recording blood pressure.
verb (used with object)
11.
to make a cuff or cuffs on:
to cuff a pair of trousers.
12.
to put handcuffs on.
Idioms
13.
off the cuff, Informal.
  1. extemporaneously; on the spur of the moment.
  2. unofficially or informally:
    I'm telling you this strictly off the cuff.
14.
on the cuff, Slang.
  1. with the promise of future payment; on credit.
  2. without charge; with no payment expected:
    He enjoyed his meal the more because it was on the cuff.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English cuffe mitten; perhaps akin to Old English cuffie cap < Medieval Latin cuphia coif
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for off the cuff

cuff1

/kʌf/
noun
1.
the part of a sleeve nearest the hand, sometimes turned back and decorative
2.
the part of a gauntlet or glove that extends past the wrist
3.
(US & Canadian, Austral) the turned-up fold at the bottom of some trouser legs Also called (in eg Britain) turn-up
4.
(informal) off the cuff, improvised; extemporary
See also cuffs
Word Origin
C14 cuffe glove, of obscure origin

cuff2

/kʌf/
verb
1.
(transitive) to strike with an open hand
noun
2.
a blow of this kind
Word Origin
C16: of obscure origin
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 off the cuff

cuff

n.

"bottom of a sleeve," mid-14c., cuffe "hand covering, mitten, glove," perhaps somehow from Medieval Latin cuffia "head covering," of uncertain origin. Sense of "band around the sleeve" is first attested 1520s; sense of "hem of trousers" is 1911. Off the cuff "extemporaneously" is 1938 American English colloquial, suggesting an actor or speaker reading from notes jotted on his shirt sleeves rather than learned lines. Cuff links is from 1897.

v.

"to put a cuff on," 1690s, from cuff (n.). Related: Cuffed; cuffing.

"hit," 1520s, of unknown origin, perhaps from Swedish kuffa "to thrust, push." Related: Cuffed; cuffing. As a noun from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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off the cuff in Medicine

cuff (kŭf)
n.

  1. A bandlike structure encircling a part.

  2. An inflatable band, usually wrapped around the upper arm, that is used along with a sphygmomanometer in measuring arterial blood pressure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for off the cuff

off the cuff

adjective

: a good off-the-cuff talker

adverb phrase

Extemporaneously; without rehearsal: I don't speak well off the cuff (1938+)

[fr the notion of speaking from notes made on one's shirt cuff]


cuff

verb
  1. To borrow money from someone, usually in an urgent way
  2. To charge something, esp on an expense account: No man feels he is getting ahead until he can cuff a few tabs on the firm
  3. To put handcuffs on someone: Cuff him and book him, Flanagan (1693+)
Related Terms

off the cuff, on the cuff, put the cuff on someone

[1920s+; first two senses fr the notion of keeping track of debts by notations on the cuff of one's shirt]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with off the cuff

off the cuff

Impromptu, extemporaneous, as in His speech was entirely off the cuff. This term supposedly alludes to the practice of speakers making last-minute notes on the cuff of a shirtsleeve. [ 1930s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Difficulty index for off-the-cuff

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Word Value for off

9
9
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