[ohf] /oʊf/

a clumsy, stupid person; lout.
a simpleton; dunce; blockhead.

a stupid or loutish person

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

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.


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