SQUEEEE!!!! I'm a Boffin!!!! Wouldn't you like to be a boffin, too?
Discovered the word when I followed a link in finabair's journal to an article in an Aussie newspaper about zombie dogs.
But - that's beside the point. *G*
What's important is that I looked up what it means!
And I have to admit that I wondered - are they related to puffins? Well...
OMG... possibly yes!!! Look what I found:
bof·fin also Bof·fin (bŏf'ĭn)
n. Chiefly British Slang.
A scientist, especially one engaged in research.
[Brit] a scientific expert; esp. one involved in technological research
Meaning #1: (British slang) a scientist or technician engaged in military research
This article is about a British slang word for a scientist. For other uses of the word see boffin (disambiguation).
In the slang of the United Kingdom, boffins are scientists, engineers, and other people who are stereotypically seen as engaged in technical or scientific research. The word conjures up images of older men in thick spectacles and white lab coats working with complicated chemical apparatus.
The word's origin is unknown. Some claim that it is a deformation of puffin, the bird; Eric Partridge points to Nicodemus Boffin, a fictional character who appears in Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, and who is described there as a "very odd looking old fellow." The word appeared during World War II, where it was applied with some affection to the men who invented radar, early digital computers, the atomic bomb, and other technologies that gave the Allies an advantage over the Axis during the war.
After the war, anti-intellectualism came to the fore, however, and the word came to have a more pejorative connotation. A boffin was the full grown version of the swot, an inoffensive person who offended his peers by too careful attention to schoolwork.
The word has found little favour in the United States, where the corresponding insults are geek and (formerly) nerd.
*rubs hands together and laughs maniacally*
*does the boffin dance*
(sorry, I can't teach it to you... it's a military secret, and... I'd have to kill you!)