• noun a gormless, awkward or foolish person. Originally a rural British dialect word, goof became widely used between the two world wars all over the English-speaking world, particularly in the USA.
  • verb to blunder, make a mistake, fail. The verb postdates the noun form of the word.
  • verb to stare or look vacuous. A teenage term from goofy.
  • verb to indulge in wordplay, improvise poetry. A word and an activity popular with the more literary beats in the 1950s.