“This book’s footnotes are whatever the opposite of scholarly is, many of them completely daft.”–Dwight Garner, New York Times, November 6, 2012, review of “Bruce [Springsteen],” by Peter Ames Carlin
Immensely like the word.I think I have come across it in Bond’s novels, apart from other places.
…as a brush?
…….. a bit like “daffy” – as in “Daffy Duck”.
I venture that it’s the same root meaning, but not so new, (except in the UK where it is almost unused), unlike “daft”, which is used all the time and has been for many decades.
“Daft” was very much a typically Northern term like “gormless” not that many decades ago (I can remember when it spread south), and the OED still has it as (chiefly) Scottish and Northern. It was a split from “deft” during the Middle English period, both words originally meaning “gentle”. “Daffy” is “dialect or slang” from a much more recent time (first cited 1884, in England) and may or may not be related. It has to be said, though, that these entries have not been updated since 1894 and 1933 respectively!
I’ve heard it used in speech as a person being eccentric, generally in a harmless or amusing way, as in: “Callahan is daft. He was talking about social media again.”
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