Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cuff n.1

[abbr. cuffin n. (1)]

1. a mean, surly old fellow; often as old cuff.

[UK]R.C. Times’ Whistle Sat. IV 1255: Some rich cuffe [...] of far worse qualities than an olde ape.
[UK]J. Melton Astrologaster 42: Some twentie yeeres before his death [he] told Cuffe our Countreyman [...] that hee should come to an vntimely end.
[UK]R. Herrick ‘Upon Cuffe’ Hesperides 40: Cuffe comes to Church much, but he keeps his bed / Those Sundayes onely when as Briefs are read. This makes Cuffe dull.
[UK]C. Cotton Virgil Travestie (1765) Bk I 7: The lustiest Carles thereabouts. Rich Cuffs and very sturdy Louts.
[UK]M. Pix Innocent Mistress I ii: He looks a surly, old, rich cuff.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 296: Having bound and gag’d the Servants, and tyed the old Cuff to a Bed-Post.
[UK]S. Centlivre Artifice Act V: I’m glad the old Cuff does not know me again.
[UK]G. Colman Polly Honeycombe 23: Ten to one the old cuff may not stay with her — I’ll pop into this closet.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (3rd edn) 297: Says this old cuff: Restore but helen.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: An old cuff; an old man.
[UK]Bridges Burlesque Homer (4th edn) II 40: [as cit. 1772].
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.

2. a jovial old man.

[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 14 30 Aug–6 Sept. 120: The PY-WOMEN [...] can afford such amorous smiles, delusive glances, inciting phrases, sweet language; that no cuffe can have the Power to withstand their imbraces.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: A pleasant Old Cuff, a frolicksom old Fellow.