Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tuft n.

1. (also tuff) female pubic hair, by ext. the vagina.

[UK]Wandring Whore V 7: […] helping a Gentlewoman on Horseback, slipp’t his hand under her belly and tore a tufft of hair off her Commodity.
[UK] ‘Satyr Undisguis’d’ Harleian Mss. 7319.271: Lecherous Stamford, poor Monmouth draws so That his Grace need never a hunting to go To keep him in Tuft.
[UK]F. Fane ‘Iter Occidentale’ Harleian Mss. 7312.20: Deep in an uncouth Vaile ’twixt swelling hills Curl’d ore with shady Tufts.
[UK]T. Brown Letters from the Dead to the Living in Works (1760) II 186: You did die a martyr for a pair of penetrable whiskers, fell a bleeding sacrifice to a cloven tuft.
The Female Contest 23: Her lovely all-alluring Tuff / Was black, and near as big, / As any Northern Monarch’s Muff.
[UK]Robertson of Struan Poems (1752) [title] ‘On a Lady of Pleasure, that had a Tuft of Ribbons at the Bottom of her Stomacher.’.
[UK]Bridges Homer Travestie (1764) I 122: For Juno, ever mischief hatching, / Had rubb’d her belly bare with scratching, / Whilst Venus, so divinely fair, / Had got a glorious tuft of hair.
[US]C. Himes Pinktoes (1989) 114: Just keep flipping your tuft at him.
[UK]C. James Observer 10 Feb. n.p.: [The Degas drawings] are all brothel scenes and show plenty of tuft [DSUE].

2. an aristocratic, titled undergraduate [the tuft was that adorning the mortarboards of titled students – of gold threads rather than the usual black].

implied in tuft-hunter n. (1)
[UK]Sporting Mag. Dec. XV 125/1: If I thought any were so dull, as not yet rightly to comprehend what a tuft is, 1 should tell them it is a noble, or wealthy student, at the University, so called, from part of his head dress.
[UK]Thackeray Shabby Genteel Story (1853) 34: The lad went to Oxford [...] frequented the best society, followed with a kind of proud obsequiousness all the tufts.
[UK]Thackeray Pendennis II 233: Still the same man we remember at Oxbridge, when he was truckling to the tufts, and bullying the poor undergraduates.
[UK]T. Hughes Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 84: Gentlemen-commoners [...] seem to me to be worse than the tufts, and to furnish most of their toadies.
[UK]Sl. Dict. 330: Tufts at the University, noblemen, who pay high fees and are distinguished by golden TUFTS, or tassels, in their caps.
[UK]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 1 June 2/3: Jubilee Tuft-Hunting. [...] There has been a rush for Jubilee tufts [...] a gentleman believed to possess great influence [...] has been ‘approached’ in behalf of no fewer than 500 gentlemen anxious for knighthoods.