A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Oaf

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1381

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1381

Oaf. n.s. [This word is variously written; auff, ofe, and oph; it seems a corruption of ouph, a demon or fairy, in German alf, from which elf: and means properly the same with changeling; a foolish child left by malevolent ouphs or fairies, in the place of one more witty, which they steal away.]

  1. A changeling; a foolish child left by the fairies.
    These, when a child haps to be got,
    Which after proves an idiot,
    When folk perceives it thriveth not,
    The fault therein to smother:
    Some silly doating brainless calf,
    That understands things by the half,
    Says that the fairy left this oaf,
     
    And took away the other. Drayt. Nymphid.

  2. A dolt; a blockhead; an idiot.

Sources: Drayton, Michael (7)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Oaf." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: February 2, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=3435.


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