Naff

Status
Not open for further replies.

Quang Hai

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
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:
'‘He’s 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?
 

Quang Hai

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
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?
 

Route21

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
Thailand
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"Naff" really means "outdated" but is used, in this case, to mean "not in the peak of condition", but not necessarily serious enough to justify seeing a doctor.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.
 

probus

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 7, 2011
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Canada
Naff is BrE slang. I believe the word would not be understood in America.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
I haven't heard it used to mean unwell before.
 

Route21

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
Thailand
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
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
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.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
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.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top