bluff

\ \ English has two words bluff, one or perhaps both of them of Dutch origin. The older, ‘hearty’ [17], originally referred to ships, and meant ‘having a flat vertical bow’. This nautical association suggests a Dutch provenance, though no thoroughly convincing source has been found. The sense ‘flat, vertical, (and broad)’ came to be applied to land features, such as cliffs (hence the noun bluffhigh steep bank’, which emerged in America in the 18th century).
\ \ The word’s metaphorical extension to people was at first derogatory – ‘rough, blunt’ – but the more favourable ‘hearty’ had developed by the early 19th century. Bluffdeceive’ [19] was originally a US poker term. It comes from Dutch bluffenboast’, the descendant of Middle Dutch bluffenswell up’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Synonyms:
, (Said of the countenance.) / , , / , , , , (especially on the margin of a river or the sea)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • bluff — bluff …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • bluff n — bluff v …   English expressions

  • bluff — [ blɶf ] n. m. • 1840; mot angl. amér. 1 ♦ Aux cartes, Attitude destinée à impressionner l adversaire en lui faisant illusion. 2 ♦ (1895) Attitude destinée à en faire accroire, à intimider l adversaire sans en avoir les moyens. ⇒ mensonge,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bluff — may refer to: * an expression of self confidence, an empty boastGeography* a very steep and broad hill or small cliff, frequently next to a river or ocean;United States places * Bluffs, Illinois, a village * Bluffs, Indiana, an unincorporated… …   Wikipedia

  • Bluff — Bluff, a. [Cf. OD. blaf flat, broad, blaffaert one with a broad face, also, a boaster; or G. verbl[ u]ffen to confuse, LG. bluffen to frighten; to unknown origin.] 1. Having a broad, flattened front; as, the bluff bows of a ship. Bluff visages.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bluff — adj Bluff, blunt, brusque, curt, crusty, gruff mean abrupt and unceremonious in speech or manner. Bluff, the only term of the group used in a complimentary sense, connotes outspokenness, rough good nature, and unconventionally which bespeak a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • bluff — Ⅰ. bluff [1] ► NOUN ▪ an attempt to deceive someone into believing that one can or will do something. ► VERB ▪ try to deceive someone as to one s abilities or intentions. ● call someone s bluff Cf. ↑call someone s bluff …   English terms dictionary

  • Bluff — Bluff, n. 1. A high, steep bank, as by a river or the sea, or beside a ravine or plain; a cliff with a broad face. [1913 Webster] Beach, bluff, and wave, adieu. Whittier. [1913 Webster] 2. An act of bluffing; an expression of self confidence for… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bluff — s.m.inv. 1. TS giochi in alcuni giochi di carte, spec. nel poker, tattica con cui si cerca di indurre gli avversari a ritirarsi dal gioco facendo credere di avere un gioco superiore a quello effettivo 2. CO estens., il far credere qcs. più… …   Dizionario italiano

  • Bluff — [bluf, blœf] Sm Täuschung erw. fremd. Erkennbar fremd (20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ne. bluff, dessen Herkunft nicht zweifelsfrei geklärt ist. Ausgangspunkt für die Entlehnung ist wohl das Kartenspiel Poker, bei dem der Bluff zur Spielpraxis …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Bluff — Bluff: Bluff   общепринятое сокращение (обозначение) имени ботаника, которое добавляется к научным (латинским) названиям некоторых таксонов ботанической (бинарной) номенклатуры и указывает на то, что автором этих наименований является… …   Википедия

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