boffin (plural boffins)
- (Britain, Australia, informal) A scientist or engineer, especially one engaged in technological or military research.
1942 February 2, Sir Henry Tizard, “Parliamentary and Scientific Committee. Luncheon.”, Journal of the Institute of Petroleum, volume 28, number 219, page 58:
- In fact, a fighting friend of mine said that he could hardly walk in any direction in this war without tumbling over a scientist who had got in the way. In the Royal Air Force, where the concentration of scientists is perhaps greatest, they have a pet name for them. They call them " Boffins." Why, I do not know. I said to a young friend of mine in the Air Force, " Why do you call scientists ' Boffins ' ?" He said, " I don't know. What else would you call them ? "
scientist or engineer