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The remote control for a television is sometimes called a doofer (sense 1.1)

Etymology 1Edit

Respelling of “do for”, as in “it will do for that job”.


doofer (plural doofers)

  1. (slang) An object the name of which the speaker or writer cannot remember or does not know. [from 1930s]
    • 1981, Ian Stewart, “Applications of Modern Mathematics”, in Concepts of Modern Mathematics, Harmondsworth, Middlesex; New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, →ISBN; republished Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 1995, →ISBN, page 271:
      A certain factory manufactures two distinct products, ‘gadgets’ and ‘doofers’. [] The times required for these operations, the total time available per week, and the profit per gadget or doofer are as tabulated: []
    • 1992, Dylan Thomas, “Margate – Past and Present”, in Ralph Maud, editor, On the Air with Dylan Thomas: The Broadcasts, New York, N.Y.: Published for James Laughlin by New Directions Publishing, →ISBN, page 114:
      Right-ho. Who's going to work the doofer? Lady? Right-ho.
    • 2012 April 27, “Rating the Burger Fuel burger”, in[1]:
      I opt for a CN Burger combo – basically, a hefty cheeseburger and fries, with a drink. [] I collect, together with serviettes (you ought to need serviettes with a burger!), and one of their patented "doofers" – an ingenious cardboard contraption designed to stop your burger's innards falling out – and return to eat it at work.
    • 2018 February 28, Stu Bowers, “Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc 2018 Review”, in Cyclist[2], archived from the original on 9 August 2018:
      On top of the bar [of the bicycle] is a little rubber doofer that plugs a hole, into which a Garmin or Wahoo out-front mount can be inserted.
    1. (slang, specifically) The remote control for a television.
      • 2014, Tom Gordon, “December 12 – Simplicity”, in Look Well to This Day: A Year of Daily Reflections, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, →ISBN, page 357:
        From a very early age, my elder grandson took to calling the remote control for the TV the ‘doofer’. He didn't come up with the name himself. It was the name his parents used, and he just picked it up – the name, that is, not the doofer. Actually, he became very adept at negotiating his way around the doofer and even had to teach his grandfather how it worked. But then, children pick these things up very quickly – like the doofer and the way it operates. Our doofer is always getting lost. It's never there when you need it, and it's always somewhere you don't want it to be – []
      • 2014 November 28, Judith Woods, “Three cheers for Mariella and the ‘M’ word”, in The Daily Telegraph[3], archived from the original on 22 June 2017:
        I was bombarded with hysterical Black Friday offers to upgrade my telly, my tablet, my computer, my phone and my DVD player. Why in the name of G5 would I want to do that? I already have to negotiate my way, weepily, round four doofers (as in “it’ll do for that”, aka a remote) just to watch I’m a Celebrity…

Etymology 2Edit

doof (outdoor dance party) +‎ -er.


doofer (plural doofers)

  1. (Australia, slang) A participant in a doof (outdoor dance party held in remote bushland or on the outskirts of a city).
    • 2013 May 11, Briana Domjen, “Bush doof community hits back”, in The Sunday Telegraph[4], Sydney, N.S.W., archived from the original on 6 September 2017:
      Last weekend The Sunday Telegraph reported on the trend of what teenagers are calling "bush doofing", which sees hundreds of drunk partygoers descend on a vacant property for a wild night of drinking and dancing. But real bush doofers have hit back, claiming teenagers are ruining the reputation of the events, which are meant to be well-organised, legal events, not a breeding ground for wild behaviour, sexual assaults and underage drinking.
    • 2015 May 19, Simon Leo Brown, quoting Paul Fleckney, “Mad Max: Fury Road’s War Drumming Doof Wagon Doesn’t Represent Doof, Says Documentary Maker”, in ABC Radio Melbourne[5], archived from the original on 10 May 2017:
      In the early days you couldn't really distinguish between … the techno ravers in the warehouses and the bush doofers []
    • 2016 January 4, Sam Bytheway, “Review: Let Them Eat Cake NYD 2016”, in Howl & Echoes[6], archived from the original on 18 February 2018:
      In one year since the last Let Them Eat Cake, you could be mistaken for thinking that the crowd had been infiltrated by the cadre of loyal doofers who haven’t missed a Rainbow Serpent [Festival] since the Rainbow Serpent first created Australia.
    • 2017 March 17, “Byron Beach Doof-party Organiser Fined $8,000”, in Echo Netdaily[7], archived from the original on 20 March 2017:
      [A]round 200 ‘doofers’ had trampled and rubbished the ecologically sensitive area which contained threatened fauna and flora.





  1. comparative degree of doof