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Thread: What the hell is a "taffer" anyway?

  1. #1

    What the hell is a "taffer" anyway?

    Every mission is chock full of guys and gals who readily insist that I am a "taffer" for violating their space. Guards call me a taffer, barmaids call me a taffer. I'm accusing of taffing, so that makes me a taffer, and then I'll be "taffed" for sure (quotes one barmaid). Hmmmm..... what the heck? Someone help!!!

  2. #2
    Singing Dancing Moose

    So far, people here have come up with four possible definitons:

    1. thief
    2. fool
    3. another name for the Trickster
    4. Welshman

    [This message has been edited by Singing Dancing Moose (edited January 26, 2000).]

  3. #3

    And number 5.

    A guy who makes candy!

    Do a search on Taffer definition for the games definition of Taffer.


  4. #4

    No you've got it all wrong. Taffer is a term more related to f**ker when f**k was still a polite word. Welshmen may be called Taffy, not Taffer.
    It can mean just that (F**k), but in context may mean a liar, a joker or a bullsh*tt*r. As a verb it is used in place of f**k (not exactly though), as in "I'll taffing get you, or "You're going to be taffed (messed up bad style, not be forced to engage in a sexual act)". Well, that's what I think anyway.

  5. #5

    "Are you taffing me?" = "Are you playing a trick on me?"

  6. #6

    Much as I think they're a bunch of pompous fools, I think I'll go with the Hammers on this one and say I think taff/taffing/taffer is a way of saying "trickster", (although I think the common usage in the game is lowercase and non-specific,) or "tricky/coniving/sneaky" etc.

    Try inserting one of these words into the conversations and see if they still make sense. See ya around "tricky-boy".

  7. #7

    erm, a taffer is a low-life who steals. Taff-it is a term still used in the midlands in the uk that means 'steal it while the opportunity is there' sort of at the spur of the moment. Not a professional thief but more of an opportunist.

    So it's used as an insult in the game rather than a descriptive term as to what Garret is.

    Erm, I think.? bla,bla.

  8. #8

    Having spent the last hour reviewing various search engines and dictionaries, 'taffer' is clearly a word made up by the creators of Thief. It only exists as a place name and on thief sites. Thus, the creators know the true meaning, but for our purposes we can use any meaning our imagination can think up. My personal (non-thief related) belief is the word is a derogatory term for sailors who worked on the taffrail of sail ships

  9. #9

    Actually, RGL is most correct thus far.

    "Taffer" is indeed an actual word. If you require proof, merely look the word up in a very old Saxon dictionary. Your nearest university should probably have a copy of a very old dictionary such as this (mine does). However, few local libraries would have such a text.

    Trust me on this one...

    (From my understanding, though, the game did take a few liberties in converting the word form [or an invented root word] into a verb and an adjective in certain contexts. I'm not sure that the word was originally used as anything but a noun, though I may be wrong about this.)

    [This message has been edited by Taffer (edited January 26, 2000).]

  10. #10

    Has no one considered it's resemblance to the activity "taffy-pulling"? I know why we can never be allowed to see Garrett in-game. All the time, when he's in the shadows waiting, or walking on a carpet skulking -

    <font face="Arial" size=+5><strong>He's Masturbating!</strong></font>

    <em>And now you will never think of Garrett or Thief the same way again! HA HA HA!</em>

    [This message has been edited by Chibboleth (edited January 26, 2000).]

  11. #11

    I think I've mentioned this before, but

    Chibboleth, you are a sick, sick person.

    Damned glad to know ya!

  12. #12

    Nappy: In case you were wondering, nearly all threads tend to do this.

  13. #13
    Gorman Truart

    Shakespeare coined some 17,000 new words, so why shouldn't boojum make up a verb from a noun?

  14. #14

    Originally posted by Taffer:
    Actually, RGL is most correct thus far.
    A while back, someone rebutted a similar thread by claiming that Laura "boojum" Baldwin had simply made the word up. Perhaps one of you philologists should ask her.



    "Thou art the nail!"

  15. #15

    I ripped a conversation between Hammerites from Thief Gold.

    Hammer1: "Have thou learnt nothing! That name soils thy mouth!"

    Hammer2: "Nay, Simpleton! Knowest thou not to say 'Taffer' is to speak the name of the defeated adversary, the Trickster?
    'Tis a corruption, a cloaking that acknowledges him without intent, and gives him an entry into thy thoughts."

    Hammer 3 (1?): "A foe is best contested in the light, not in the shadows. Allow none to so disguise themselves before thee, lest thou slip into the shadows thyself...and so be lost."

    <a href="">This link</a> has a sound file in Real Player format at the bottom of the page. Again, thanks to Lancer for his help on getting it online

    These topics were posted more than a month ago...get up to speed, guys

    [This message has been edited by Saracoth (edited January 27, 2000).]

  16. #16

    Gorman Truart: Shakespeare coined some 17,000 new words, so why shouldn't boojum make up a verb from a noun?
    Exactly. Frankly, a goodly portion of the American version of English (and now English as a whole) is made up of words that were invented by Webster when he made many verbs from nouns. Some of them lasted, but most of them didn't (like "happify": to make happy) . It happens all the time to the language... English is meant to be flexible like that.
    With that in mind, "Taffer" can pretty much mean whatever we want it to mean now.

    Grundbegriff: A while back, someone rebutted a similar thread by claiming that Laura "boojum" Baldwin had simply made the word up. Perhaps one of you philologists should ask her.
    Yep, I was there! (This topic resurfaces every couple of months.) If I recall correctly, though, someone said that it was a word that Boojum invented. I don't remember Boojum ever saying that, though. I find the fact that the ol' dictionary lists the word as meaning "trickster," low-life, etc. to be a little too much of a coincidence.

    [This message has been edited by Taffer (edited January 27, 2000).]

  17. #17

    Chibbloeth: I will definitely never think of *you* in the same way again.

    Saracoth: Thanks for the link, and the shamelessly disguised plug for specialty coffees.

  18. #18

    Garrett is... what? Man, I can't believe it! BTW, how did you find that out, Chibboleth?

  19. #19

    I'm suddenly reminded of the guard's instructions to an sg3 guard.
    "Aim for the stomach... or lower! Heh heh... Armour's usually weak there!"

    Wow.... this new revelation only makes such a hit seem even <u>more</u> painful.

    [Oops.... that was dirty. I just censored myself.]

    [This message has been edited by Taffer (edited January 27, 2000).]

  20. #20

    Wow, Saracoth, thanks for the link. I find it highly coincidental that both the first line of your audio clip and the title I gave this topic are the same, verbatim. Maybe I was subconsciously recalling a conversation I overheard during gameplay. In any event, 'twould be hard to argue against the very definition that Eidos put into the game. Seems to make sense.

    Those of you who referred to the "Trickster" were on target. Just goes to show, we can find out anything if we set our minds to it (and ask enough questions on this forum)


  21. #21

    What about this:

    "That's stupid. People to worry about, they're on the inside."

    "No, then you catch them before they get inside, you taffer."

    It doesn't mean trickster in that context. I think there's no one meaning of the word. It's kind of like smurf, almost.

  22. #22

    OK, folksies.

    I just got back from the library (had a couple of books on order that I had to pick up), and I briefly looked for the dictionary that I originally found the word in about a year ago.... I couldn't find the book, though! (I'm beginning to wonder if it was a false memory...)

    Anyway, I couldn't find "taffer" in the books that I skimmed through, but I did find this... I think that this has been posted before, though.

    <u>taf, taffy</u> -- Fat, adj.; Fatty.
    <u>Taffy</u> -- a welshman; a coll. nickname dating from ca. 1680 though adumbrated in Harrison's <u>England</u>, where a Welshman is called a "David." Popularized by the old nursery-rhyme "Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief" [...] Also an 'inevitable' nickname of anyone with a Welsh name or accent; lower classes.

    Taken from Eric Partridge's A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English from the 15th Century to the Present Day (5th ed.).

    Needless to say, I was a bit frustrated, because this isn't what I remembered. So... I went ahead and requested old Saxon/English dictionaries from about 8 different libraries; I should be getting them within a few days.

    I'll be sure to keep you posted on what I find. (Even if I end up being completely off-base on this.)
    Fast-forward to Monday
    "Hmmm... what do you know? 'One who masturbates'!"

    Ooh... Almost forgot!
    I threw together a little "taffin" sound clip of my own.
    I just opened up a Geocities page so that I could post it there for you folks. (I'd post it on my own page, but I have to conceal my identity!)
    Anyway, you should be able to find it here: (Since they don't like external links, I had to post a cheapo page with a link to the file. Sorry!)

    I have another sound clip that I threw together before Dromed came out that I was going to try to fool some people with, but I'm not sure whether or not I should post it. (It's kinda long.) Anyway, let me know if you think I should.

    [This message has been edited by Taffer (edited January 28, 2000).]

  23. #23

    If I remember it correctly, EvilSpirit said that boojum made up the term. Anyway, even if the word exists in some dusty old dictionary that doesn't mean that Laura was aware of it. Moreso, it doesn't mean that Laura wasn't subconsciously aware of the word when she "made up" taffer. All of these explanations can be valid at the same time. BTW, almost a year ago, I went to the library and researched taffer. Some of my solutions haven't come up in this thread so far, so there are still things left to discover for you.

    Ask me about Garrett

  24. #24

    Sounds cool!
    I'll be looking forward to it!

    Forgot to mention... Strangeblue did post that "Taffy" poem thing, by the way, for those who missed it...
    It's over here:
    (Yes, I know... but I liked it anyway.)

    [This message has been edited by Taffer (edited January 27, 2000).]

  25. #25

    Originally posted by Nappy:
    In any event, 'twould be hard to argue against the very definition that Eidos put into the game.
    The only thing Eidos put into the game was the money to make it. Give credit where credit is due. Looking Glass Studios are the geniuses behind Thief.


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