Green’s Dictionary of Slang

scoff v.

[Scot. scaff, to beg or ask for (food etc) in a mean or contemptible manner, but note S.Afr. scoff, food, a meal, f. Du. schoft, a quarter of a day, thus each of the day’s four meals]

1. (also scorf, skoff) to eat, to gobble up.

[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 48: He scoffed weed; that is, chewed tobacco. [Ibid.] 50: You must grub with the grunters, and scoff cabbage without salt.
[US]C. Abbey diary 1 Aug. in Gosnell Before the Mast (1989) 193: Ned & I ‘scoffed’ it between us.
[UK]Henley & Stevenson Admiral Guinea II i: Get me a noggin of rum and suthin’ to scoff.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Oct. 12/1: It is earnestly desired that the new man when he invites his fellow citizens to the festive ‘hop,’ won’t request a favoured forty to ‘scorf’ the best vittles in a private room. [Ibid.] 14/2: After the fair young feeder has ‘scorfed’ everything that comes handy she finishes up by sucking the gravy from her finger tips.
[UK]Sporting Times 15 Mar. 2/2: He may learn from those present that that particular product of sallees de Meilhan was ‘skoffed’ before Calais.
[US]Anaconda Standard (MT) 15 Dec. 10/1: ‘Wanter scoff? Well, Jack [...] I’ll make dat hash joint wish dey had never went inter der business’.
[UK]Harington & LeBrunn [perf. Marie Lloyd] The Rich Girl and the Poor [lyrics] The poor girl she just scorfs a plate o’ whelks, / But she gets there just the same.
[UK]J. Masefield ‘Sing a Song o’ Shipwreck’ in Salt-Water Ballads 7: A packet o’ Sailor’s Delight as I scoffed in the seas o’ the Horn.
[UK]Observer (N.Z.) 27 Nov. 52/1: Don’t you get scoffin’ all my bally whisky.
[UK]Gem 30 Sept. 5: You don’t mean to say that you’ve scoffed all the tommy, you unearthly porpoise!
D. Runyon ‘A Tale of Two Fists’ XXIII in Pittsburgh Press (PA) 5 June 32/2: ‘I’ve always been a good eater, and the Fishers liked their scoffin’ too’.
[US]E. O’Neill Anna Christie Act II: We’d all ought to be with Davy Jones [...] we’d be being scoffed by the fishes this minute!
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 161: Scoffing up stewgravy with sopping sippets of bread.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 260: Skoff, To: To eat.
[UK]M. Marshall Travels of Tramp-Royal 234: A couple of duck eggs [...] that I knew he meant to keep till he got a chance to scoff them on the sly.
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 119: Bet you scoffed all the bloody lot, didn’t you?
[UK]A. Sillitoe ‘Noah’s Ark’ Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1960) 93: I could scoff a hoss between two mattresses.
[UK]C. Wood ‘Prisoner and Escort’ in Cockade (1965) I iii: You can’t miss them ... two sons of Africa scoffing Kit-e-Kat sandwiches.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 185: Ham and pork sausages (them Jews were scoffin’ them up).
[UK]Beano 26 June 8: We’re scoffing his grapes!
[UK]Eve. Standard 4 June 54: We spend the time [...] scoffing tasty grub.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 1 Jan. 14: In between all the scoffing and quaffing.

2. to give food, to feed.

[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 384: Blokey, squeal at that house over there – it’s a priest; he’ll scoff ye.

3. to grab.

[UK]Sporting Times 3 Mar. 3/3: ‘I haven’t scoffed anything from you, have I?’ [...] ‘Young man, you are using that term in its vulgar, idiotic, and slang sense.’.
[UK]Gem 17 Oct. 14: The feed’s been scoffed. Then it’s all up with the grub.
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 48: ‘Toby,’ she shrieked [...] ‘they’ve scoffed another beagle!’.
[SA]Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg) 30 May [Internet] Filling the trough so the pigs can scoff [...] how to rip off the government through state leasing.

4. in fig. use, to defeat or attack.

[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Wedlock by Wire’ Sporting Times 6 May 1/3: Marriage on such lines / Was like ‘Hamlet’ with no ‘moody Dane’ to scoff.
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 4: We could see that the lousy old wog was going to make one big, determined rush and scoff us that way.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 222: He would in any case squash me against the wall like a bed-bug [...] belt me, scoff me, and in general make my life unbearable.

5. (US drugs) to take narcotics orally.

[US]D. Maurer ‘Lang. of the Und. Narcotic Addict’ Pt 2 in Lang. Und. (1981) 108/2: To scoff. To take narcotics through the mouth.
[US]J.E. Schmidt Narcotics Lingo and Lore.

6. (US campus) to fellate.

[US]Current Sl. III:3 10: To eat (often with sexual connotations).

7. to drink.

[NZ]R. Morrieson Pallet on the Floor 29: What say we go down to my burg and scoff some home-brew.

8. (US teen) to steal, to pilfer.

[Can]Totally True Diaries of an Eighties Roller Queen [Internet] 3 Aug. Today I scoffed this diary. It was the first time I had stolen anything in a long time.

In derivatives

scoffing (n.)

(US) good or plentiful food.

[US]Topeka State Jrnl (KS) 10 Oct. 3/1: I’m getting my chuck regular at home and believe muh, it’s real scoffing.

In phrases

scoff (on) fishheads and scramble for the gills (v.)

(US black) to have a difficult time, to encounter problems.

[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 15: Well, the skull was spreading his propaganda that he’d been scoffing on fishheads and scrambling for the gills.
[US]Maledicta VI:1+2 Summer/Winter 131: The lexicographers of homosexuality […] have been scoffing fishheads and scrambling for the gills (having a hard time).