Alternative formsEdit


From poof +‎ -er.


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poofter (plural poofters)

  1. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, derogatory, slang) A male homosexual, especially an effeminate one.
    • 1908 November 20, Sydney Montgomery, “Paranoia with some Cases”, in Australasian Medical Gazette[1], volume 27, number 11, Australasian Medical Association, ISSN 0314-5158, OCLC 427188481, pages 598-602:
      Another man told me he was a "poofter," but I never was able to get a definition of this word from him.
    • 1943, John Bostock and Evan Jones, The nervous soldier: a handbook for the prevention, detection and treatment of nervous invalidity in war, page 11,
      Hallucinations, again, are the expression of repressed systems of ideas and desires; for example a man who has strong repressed homo-sexual tendencies may hear voices calling him a poofter.
    • 1964, Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice, page 36,
      "You pommy poofter. You give me any more of that liberal crap and I'll have your balls for a bow tie." Bond said mildly, "What's a poofter?" "What you'd call a pansy. No," Dikko Henderson got to his feet and fired a string of what sounded like lucid Japanese at the man behind the bar, [] .
    • 2007, John Mendoza, Mad Blue Smoke, Pasini Press, Melbourne, Australia, page 113,
      I just ignored them because I didn't think what I did made me a poofter. Me and Dwayne were best friends, and it was only because there were no girls around, and I liked it. My father taught me that homosexuality was unnatural, and that poofters were men who couldn't form relationships with women because they were horrifying, repulsive queers.
  2. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, derogatory, slang) A pansy, an effeminate man.

Usage notesEdit

Poofter is nowadays one of the most pejorative words in Australian English, perhaps because of its use in the phrase poofter-bashing, which arose during the 1960s and 1970s during organised hate crimes against homosexuals across Australia and particularly in the Sydney district of King's Cross, a major centre of Sydney's gay social life.[1] Beyond its use as an anti-homosexual slur, it is also often aimed at males who do not conform to normative ideals of masculinity in other ways, particularly in the fields of art or academia.


Derived termsEdit


  1. ^ Francoeur, R. T., and Noonan, R. J. (eds.) The Continuum Complete International Encyclopedia of Sexuality, p.33. Continuum: New York.