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Q: Does British slang "oofy" mean rich? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Does British slang "oofy" mean rich?
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: crokinole-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 19 Oct 2002 19:37 PDT
Expires: 18 Nov 2002 18:37 PST
Question ID: 85323
Does British slang "oofy" mean rich? Hint: P.G. Wodehouse uses it this
way and has a millionaire character nicknamed "Oofy Prosser". Low
price, but I will rate 5*'s.
Subject: Re: Does British slang "oofy" mean rich?
Answered By: leep-ga on 19 Oct 2002 20:53 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Greetings crokinole!

You are correct in that "oofy" is related to rich.  Below I have
listed some slightly different meanings of it.

One online dictionary provides this meaning:

"oofy sl adj : monied, also expensive, syn, spendy."
"The American·British British·American Dictionary":

A user who has a list of a few words and her alternate definitions for
them states:
"oofy - normally means showy/flashy/spiffy/big can really mean
anything I want though"
"Britt-ish Dictionary":

There are a few messages in a lengthy thread on alt.usage.english that
discuss "oofy".  The entire thread from 2000 can be viewed at:
"Simple esoteric English grammer rule being ignored"

The specific messages about oofy indicate the following:

"Oofy means wealthy, rich.  Wodehouse names the wealthiest man in the
Drones Club as Oofy Prosser. ... It's probably based on a Yiddish word
/ooftish/, money laid down on a table. (NSOED)

above from "Subject: Re: Simple esoteric English grammer rule being
ignored" message:

"NSOED says "oofy" is first attested in the mid 20th century, by which
they mean during the period 1930-1969, but the 1980s _Supplement to
the OED_ has a citation of "oof", meaning "wealth", from 1888."

above from "Subject: Re: Simple esoteric English grammer rule being
ignored" message:

"It's listed as a subentry under "oof". The first citation of "oofy"
is: 1896 Blackw. Mag. Dec. 727 My oofy maiden-aunt.  ... There is also
a citation of "oofiness" from Wodehouse: 1935 Wodehouse Luck of
Bodkins xvii. 211 His amazing oofiness had a tendency: to slip from
the mind."

above from "Subject: Re: Simple esoteric English grammer rule being
ignored" message:

(Note: NSOED refers to the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.)   

I was hoping to also provide you with the full OED entry, but their
server is not connecting for me at this hour.  I'm going to keep
checking though.  (You may be able to access the OED for free through
a local library or university.):
"Oxford English Dictionary":

I hope this information is helpful.  If you would like for me to
clarify any part of my answer or further research your question,
please let me know before issuing a rate.  Thanks!


some search strategy used:
oofy + dictionary (on Google Groups)
british + dictionary

Clarification of Answer by leep-ga on 20 Oct 2002 12:36 PDT
Hello again.  The OED (2nd edition) gives this definition for "oof":

"Money. Also in the fuller form ooftish. Hence oof-bird, a source or
supplier of money, ‘the goose that lays the golden eggs’; oofiness,
wealth; oofless a., without cash; ooflessness, lack of cash; oofy a.,

And here are some early citations of it:

"[1882 M. E. BRADDON Mt. Royal III. viii. 170 ‘It will be too
lovelytoo utterly ouftish’, exclaimed Dopsy, who had lately acquired
this last flower of speech.] 1885 Sporting Times 28 Feb. 1/1 The
subject of oof is enough to interest anybody. [With Cockney pun on
'oof = hoof.] 1888 RIDER HAGGARD Col. Quaritch xxviii, Living like a
fighting-cock and rolling in ‘oof’. Ibid. II. xiv, ‘Is he an oof
bird?’ (rich) ‘Rather’, answered the Tiger."

above from:
Oxford English Dictionary (access required)

crokinole-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Unbelievably comprehensive answer - excellent researcher!!!!!

Subject: Re: Does British slang "oofy" mean rich?
From: lot-ga on 20 Oct 2002 01:36 PDT
"loaded" being the more common slang

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