Perhaps borrowed from French taffetas.



туфта́ (tuftáf inan (genitive туфты́, uncountable)

  1. (slang) bullshit, nonsense, poppycock, rubbish
  2. (slang) fake, fraud
    1. (slang) Cheating on quota or bureaucratic requirements, as for example in labour camps, in state enterprises of planned economies, or in municipal affairs.
      • 1975, Alexander Dolgun, Alexander Dolgun's Story: An American in the Gulag, Knopf, page 173:
        Thank God for Gorelov that day! He had been lucky and had received some food parcels from home, and had strategically given more than half of what he got to the brigadier. This got him both a lower quota, and a blind eye to his tufta, his cheating on the quota.
      • ibid, page 184:
        [Months later] It was hard work and tufta was difficult to invent. I had lost my friend Gorelov and had not found a way to bribe Vtyurin.
      • ibid, page 351:
        [Years later] I discovered that tufta is really as much a part of civilian life in the Soviet Union as it is in camp. Without cheating the system nobody could survive; so everyone is engaged in tufta all the time.


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