From Middle English turf, torf, from Old English turf (“turf, sod, soil, piece of grass covered earth, greensward”), from Proto-Germanic *turbz (“turf, lawn”), from Proto-Indo-European *derbʰ- (“tuft, grass”). Cognate with Dutch turf (“turf”), Middle Low German torf (“peat, turf”) (whence German Torf and German Low German Torf), Swedish torv (“turf”), Icelandic torf (“turf”), Russian трава (trava, “grass”), Sanskrit दर्भ (darbha, “a kind of grass”), दूर्वा (dūrvā, “bent grass”).
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)f
- A layer of earth covered with grass; sod.
- A piece of such a layer cut from the soil and used to make a lawn.
- (Ireland) A sod of peat used as fuel.
- (slang) The territory claimed by a person, gang, etc. as their own.
- A racetrack; or the sport of racing horses.
- to create a lawn by laying turfs
- (Ultimate Frisbee) To throw a frisbee well short of its intended target, usually causing it to hit the ground within 10 yards of its release.
- (business) To fire from a job or dismiss from a task.
- Eight managers were turfed after the merger of the two companies.
- (business) To cancel a project or product.
- The company turfed the concept car because the prototype performed poorly.
- (informal, transitive) To expel, eject, or throw out; to turf out.
1968, Eric Herne, The Haunted Islands, page 18:
- He has the mistaken idea that he is a lap dog, and loves to be nursed, especially by ladies, but eighty-five pounds on your lap is no joke, and he can never understand why he gets turfed off.
1988, Simon Haw with Richard Frame, For Hearth and Home: The Story of Maritzburg College, 1863-1988, page 166:
- At the same time as College was being unceremoniously turfed from their premises, a similar process was affecting the Estcourt School.
- (medical slang, transitive) To transfer or attempt to transfer (a patient or case); to eschew or avoid responsibility for.
1996, Jeffrey E. Nash and James M. Calonico, The Meaning of Social Interaction: An Introduction to Social Psychology, page 139:
- "Sure thing, I buffed her, and they turfed her to urology, but she bounced back to me!" [...] They want to transfer responsibility for her to another branch of the hospital (turf her).