Green’s Dictionary of Slang

naff adj.1

also naph
[? north. dial. naffhead, naffin, naffy, a simpleton; a blockhead; an idiot or niffy-naffy, inconsequential, stupid or Scot. nyaff, a term of contempt for any unpleasant or objectionable person; however note Polari etymologist WS Wilcox in a letter 25/11/99: ‘I have long believed that naff may well derive from Romany naflo, a form of nasvalo – no good, broken, useless. Since several other Parlary words derive from Romany this is not impossible’; in this context note also 16C Ital. gnaffa, a despicable person]

1. in poor taste, unappealing, unfashionable, bad; thus as n. poor taste.

[UK]Took & Feldman Round the Horne 10 June [BBC radio] Country House! Ugh naph – make it a slum tenement in Salford.
[US]IT 13–25 June 16/4: A lot of these bands are pretty naff anyway.
Record Mirror 17 Sept. 9/2: A really naff song that wouldn’t get anywhere without Ringo’s name on it.
[US]Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 227: Madge mocks a tasteless person, Brenda (a nickname for Queen Elizabeth II) a naph = bourgeois and square one.
[UK]Sun. Tel. 21 Aug. 11/3: It is naff to call your house The Gables, Mon Repos, or Dunroamin’.
[UK]Eve. Standard 28 May 52: Europe’s naff annual singalong.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 9: They would stand at the ramp in naff wine bars delivering speeches.
[UK]I. Rankin Fleshmarket Close (2005) 53: A design mag would [...] enthuse over its revival of seventies naff.

2. second-rate, workaday.

[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 113: Some naff job. Ain’t worth talkin’ ’bou really.
[UK]N. Barlay Hooky Gear 2: I dump the naff little cash-box in among the overgrown roots.
[UK]K. Richards Life 411: She was more of a London girl [...] And talked like one, ‘Oh, fuckin’ naff’ and all that.

In phrases

naff omee (n.) [omee n. (2), lit. an ‘unappealing man’]

(gay) a heterosexual.

[US]Maledicta III:2 244: Heterosexuals, outsiders, jam, normals, squares, BMs (‘baby-makers,’ Cape Town), and general naph omis.