Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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FUFFLE, v., n. Also †fuffel.

I. v. 1. To dishevel, ruffle, disarrange (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 214; Bnff.2, Abd.9 1943; Cai., m.Lth. 1953), “particularly applied to dress when creased or disordered” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Ppl.adj. fuffled, disordered, rumpled; limp, washed out (Bwk. 1916 T.S.D.C. II.). Cf. Carfuffle. Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry 66:
He saw the Vicar owr the Kenly In fuffel'd garb, and plicht ungainly.
Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B.:
A dress a' fuffl'd wi' the wund.

2. To walk awkwardly as if hampered in one's movements, to hobble, shuffle. Found in ppl.adj. fufflan (Cai. 1939 John o' Groat Jnl. (10 May); Cai.7 1953); to be clumsy in one's actions (Ayr. 1953); to fumble (Sh.11 1953).

II. n. ‡1. Fuss, violent exertion, commotion (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Dmf., Rxb. 1953). Slk. 1801  Hogg Sc. Pastorals 14:
When muckle Pate, wi' desp'rate fuffle, Had at Poltowa wan the scuffle.

2. One who is clumsy at doing things (Ayr. 1953).

[Origin imit. In form the word is a frequentative deriv. of Fuff. O.Sc. fuffil, to handle roughly, 1536.]

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"Fuffle v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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