Green’s Dictionary of Slang

scoff n.

also scauf, scoffings, skoff
[scoff v.]


[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 51: It vas hout-and-hout good scoff, and no flies.
[UK]C.R. Read What I Heard, Saw, and Did 11: On being asked [...] whether I was going to have any scauf* [...] (*Anything to eat).
F.P. Flemyng Southern Africa 269: He promises them plenty of cattle and cows, meal, milk and scoff (food).
[US]Anaconda Standard (MT) 15 Dec. 10/1: He didn’t need to say that he wanted the ‘price of er scoff.’ He looked so hungry.
[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 232: Them fires [...] is where you cook your scoff [food].
[SA] letter in C. Pettman Africanderisms (1913) 446: Food with the colonials was always skoff.
[UK]D. Blackburn Burgher Quixote 71: ‘Niko mena skoff,’ which is kitchen Kafir for ‘Give me food’.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 20 Nov. 3/6: Just to please the local trader / They leaves out the Chow to buy / Of his scoff.
[UK]D. Blackburn Leaven 202: Skoff (food), unlimited skoff, with sheep meat, bullock meat, every day.
[UK]Blackburn & Caddell Secret Service in S. Afr. 76: Say you are guilty and get off with a month in tronk. It’s not bad in our tronk. No hard work, plenty of skoff.
[SA]C. Pettman Africanderisms 446: Skoff In Natal this word is used of food itself.
[US]Day Book (Chicago) 1 Feb. 30/2: I sure do want to roam again / [...] / An’ tap some farmer’s home again, / Fer scoff dat’s fit to eat.
[US]Morn. Tulsa Dly World (OK) 13 June 19/3: Scoffings — Something to eat.
[US]E. O’Neill Bound East for Cardiff (1923) 8: It’s hard enough [...] to be stomachin’ the skoff on this rusty lime-juicer.
[US]P. & T. Casey Gay-cat 305: Scoff—food; nourishment.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 416: Scoffings – food.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 260: Skoff: Food.
[US]R.E. Howard ‘Sign of the Snake’ Action Stories June [Internet] Bill had his scoffings from a panikin on the floor.
[US]J.H. O’Hara Pal Joey 92: They have used up their mocassins for scoff.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 291: The big bands are all the go and can provide them with their scoff.
[SA]H.C. Bosman Cold Stone Jug (1981) II 90: Of course, you are used to having skoff in only the best hotels.
R. Farran Jungle Chase (1957) 9: Scoff? Do you want scoff?
[UK]J. Curtis Look Long Upon a Monkey 66: That scoff ready yet, china?
[UK]K. Amis letter 10 Mar. in Leader (2000) 620: Their place is in an Old Kent Road cabmen’s shelter, taking scoff and char.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Start in Life (1979) 104: ‘You’re getting a bit too bloody familiar as well,’ I snapped, paying out the best part of a quid on his monumental scoff.
[US]J.L. Gwaltney Drylongso 231: I ain’t never took nothing, neither pussy nor wine nor scoff!
[UK]I. Welsh ‘A Smart Cunt’ in Acid House 261: It is a good scoff [...] stodgy food.
[UK]Guardian Weekend 10 July 3: Having sex or eating one’s favourite scoff.
[UK]Guardian 6 July 24/1: Now you can get delicious scoff: seafood in garlic.

In derivatives

scoffless (adj.)

deprived of food, starving.

[US]‘Lord Buckley’ Hiparama of the Classics 7: The Lion went zoom – snapped it up and swooped the scene and there stood the poor Indians scoffless.

In compounds

scoff jack (n.) [jack n.4 (2)]

(US tramp) money for food collected among a group of tramps when they have been unable to beg successfully.

[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 165: Scoff Jack.–Money for food; usually a collection taken by a bunch of tramps and sent to town by one or more of their number to acquire food [...] especially when it has been impossible to beg or pilfer food.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 58: Who did you depend on for your scoff jack?
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 816: scoff jack – Money for food.
scoff joint (n.)

(US black) a restaurant, a café.

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 8 Feb. 7/1: The law picked up on him stached in a scoff [...] joint and snatched him back to Bean Town.
scoff pad (n.)

(US black) a restaurant, a café.

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 27 Apr. 7/7: Whe you fall into a scoff pad and you are beat for a rough or so, play the high-speiler.
scoff shop (n.)

(US) a restaurant, a café.

[US]S. Sterling ‘Ten Carats of Lead’ in Black Mask Stories (2010) 229/1: Hansard jerked his head toward the Coffee Shop. ‘Parked in front of the scoff-shop down there.’.

In phrases

cop a scoff (v.) (also knock a scoff)

to eat.

[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 19: A lotta grays and some ungroovy spooks, for that matter, are going to get conked up good before everybody sits down and cops a scoff from the same oak spread. [Ibid.] 78: ‘Knock a scoff,’ he says. He means, eat a meal.