Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Chiefly British Slang A scientist, especially one engaged in research.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A scientist or engineer, especially one engaged in technological or military research.
  • n. this sense?) An elderly naval officer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a scientist or technician, especially one engaged in military research.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (British slang) a scientist or technician engaged in military research

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Unknown (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Checking on the boffin was her first responsibility, a duty she was already late for.

    LEVIATHAN

  • Seriously, the boffin was a particular type of scientist who could understand the viewpoint of the services, who worked with them, and who frequently shared their dangers.

    Research in the United Kingdom

  • Just in case you still think Jones is just some no-name boffin toiling pitifully in academia's climate change coal mines, one file in the exposed CRU records reveals that he has collected 13.7 million in grants since 1990.

    WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

  • Before he found TV success in The Thick of It, Chris Addison was known as the boffin-comic:

    Culture | guardian.co.uk

  • I think the word "boffin" should get its own tag...it's magnificent.

    "What counts as a swot varies from school to school..."

  • In connection with a major TV series they are producing about the OED, the BBC has set up a nifty Word Hunt site where readers can help identify the origins and first uses of 50 terms, ranging from "boffin" and "bog standard" to "ska" and "snazzy."

    Archive 2005-06-01

  • Calling anyone within a 100 yard radius of a petri dish a "boffin".

    Word Magazine - Comments

  • "boffin" is a real account, but there is no indication as to why it is abused in this spam.

    Softpedia News - Global

  • Rather that just being a high-concept boffin, dazzling the world with limited-edition objects, he's a serious and expansive thinker with a vision toward moving his profession into the future—and democratizing it at the same time.

    Design of the Digital Age

  • Things kick off tonight with a performance by Mark Aerial Waller, interpreting conceptual artist and science boffin John Latham's Government Of The First And Thirteenth Chair, an attempt to reconcile the infinite expanse of time with the fleeting moment.

    This week's new exhibitions

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Comments

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  • Another idea for an image of defenestrated boffins... a depiction in the manner of Monty Python re: Admiral Nelson.

    May 5, 2010

  • Defenestrated boffins, as I imagine them: cartoon

    May 5, 2010

  • Gangerh, I was just going to say that it reminds me of the sound of fufluns hitting something soft. ;-)

    May 4, 2010

  • A defenestrated boffin, then.
    *hurls hard stale cupcake*

    May 3, 2010

  • This should also be a hard stale biscuit that you may throw out of a window above the second floor.

    May 3, 2010

  • So I yell out the window, answer the mail
    My diary's quiet, the definitive nail
    In my social coffin
    I blame all the boffins
    For making me fail.

    (I just want your jeans, by God Help the Girl)

    May 2, 2010

  • And here I thought that a boffin was a nice little seabird.

    January 14, 2009

  • “Many thanks go out to Evan Sandhaus and the other boffins at R&D for making this resource publicly available to researchers.�?

    The New York Times, Fatten Up Your Corpus, by Jacob Harris, January 12, 2009

    January 13, 2009

  • I heard that in Iceland they eat boffins.

    October 12, 2007

  • In tabloid newspapers, scientists are always boffins - "Boffins today discovered..." - especially if it's a not particularly serious piece of research. Boffins would never discover the cure for cancer, but they would tell us why toast always lands buttered-side down on the floor.

    October 12, 2007