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

  • adj. Extremely successful; great.
  • n. See boff1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Very good or successful
  • n. A great success; a hit

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. highly successful; superbly well done.

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

  • adj. resoundingly successful and popular


Alteration of boff1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • Via
    Boffo and socko are neologisms in the family of Variety-speak after the well known business trade journal covering Tinseltown (often better known as Hollywood aka the Coast, aka H’w’d.)

    Their definitions from Variety’s slanguage dictionary follow:

    boff (also boffo, boffola) — outstanding (usually refers to box office performance); ” ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ has been boffo at the B.O.” (See also, socko, whammo)

    sock (also socko) — very good (usually refers to box office performance); ” ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ has done socko B.O.” (See also, boff, whammo)

    An excellent example of their use appears in the 1984 film The Muppets Take Manhattan in this clip.

    Other examples of Variety-speak appear in this clip from The Animaniacs

    May 12, 2015

  • Used by Ford Prefect to describe a beach in California, I believe.

    March 22, 2008

  • "Rock Hudson later starred with John Wayne in The Undefeated (1969), but not before 'the Duke' made his military-entertainment masterpiece The Green Berets (1968), which enjoyed the full backing of the Vietnam-embattled Department of Defense. With loads of military input, The Green Berets proved to be, said Variety, a 'whammo' and 'boffo' box-office success. Critics, however, almost universally panned it. One New York Times film reviewer went so far as to call it 'so unspeakable, so stupid, so rotten and false in every detail… vile and insane.'"
    - 'The Golden Age of the Military-Entertainment Complex', Nick Turse, 2008.

    March 21, 2008