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Thread: Naff

  1. #1
    Quang Hai is offline Junior Member
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    Naff

    In a story, a youth comes to inform his friend's parent that their son is ill and can not come back with them. He said:
    'Hes off colour, the youth said. A bit naff today. He asked me would I come down and tell you.'
    What is meaning of naff in this sentence, please?

  2. #2
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    Re: Naff

    As an NES, but not an English specialist/teacher:

    The free dictionary definition suggests outmoded/ out of fashion:
    naff - definition of naff by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    I would translate it as : "out of sorts" / " off colour" / "unwell".

    Regards
    R21

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    Quang Hai is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Naff

    In dictionary, it means unstylish. I guess it is in connection with the first phrase - out of colour. Certainly I could guess the meaning of it is something like R21 suggested. However, I am not sure if the author is playing with words here. This way of speaking is common?

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    Re: Naff

    The phrase is either "off colour" or "out of sorts" rather than "out of colour".

    "Naff" really means "outdated" but is used, in this case, to mean "not in the peak of condition", but not necessarily serious enough to justify seeing a doctor.

    Hope this helps a bit more.
    Regards
    R21

    PS: It's not uncommon - but it is slang.

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    Re: Naff

    Naff is BrE slang. I believe the word would not be understood in America.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Naff

    I haven't heard it used to mean unwell before.

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    Re: Naff

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I haven't heard it used to mean unwell before.
    Me neither, but that appears to be the intent of the original quote.

    For further info from the urban dictionary see:
    Urban Dictionary

    Regards
    R21

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Naff

    The quote's clear enough, but it sounds like someone who's looked it up rather than someone who knows how to use it to me. I have heard the word thousands of times, but never with this particular meaning and it sounds unnatural, but others may see things differently.

  9. #9
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    Re: Naff

    I wouldn't understand that the person was unwell if "naff" was used in that sentence. People are rarely referred to as "naff". It's usually stuff - clothes, furniture, wallpaper or things like films or music albums.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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