Monday, July 13, 2009

The Origin of DUFF

DUFF - (acronym) Designated Ugly, Fat Friend; Duff (n)--the least attractive girl in a group of friends, used to make the others look better.

You've heard me use the word "Duff" before--I mean, it is the title of my book. But I'm not the one who made up this annoying, clever, insulting phrase. Thank God for that, too. I don't think I could live with myself for coming up with something like that.

Do you want to know where I learned "Duff"? Because, believe it or not, there are a few guys out there who use this horrible term.

The inspiration of the title of my book came in the beginning of my senior year. A friend of mine was telling me about a party she'd been to, and she began complaining, very loudly I might add, about some guys that she had met. Apparently, these boys were quite cute, but she overheard them calling one of her friend "The Duff", and they were, therefore, complete assholes.

My response: "The what?"

My Friend: "Duff. Designated ugly, fat friend."

I was both appalled and intrigued. I mean, I'd never heard this word before. Was it new? Had it been around for years just hiding under my nose, dwelling in the secret language of boys? I still don't know, if you want to know the truth. It's still a mystery to me. But after a brief conversation on the matter, I looked at my friend and said, jokingly, "One day, I'll write a book called The Duff."

A few months later, I did.

My only worry--that more people will now become familiar with this cruel term. That people will begin to use it in vast numbers (okay, that sounded egotistical, but you know what I mean). That idea really troubles me. I feel like I'm giving amo to those shooting at my side. Because, in all honesty, I'm The Duff.

Are you?

Answer that truthfully. Have you ever felt like you were the ugly one in the group? The one there to make your friends look better? Maybe your friends didn't even mean to do it. Maybe some guy just snubbed you. Hell, maybe you're a guy who felt like the least attractive. I don't know. But, in my theory, everyone has been The Duff at some point.

So I say, we use this word to our advantage. We make it our own. We use it for humor rather than cruelty. I AM THE DUFF! Because we are all the Duffs! Everyone who has friends has been The Duff. Just how it is. So why not stand up and admit to it! Why not look our judges in the eye and smile, because guess what? They've been the Duff before too. Even that cheerleader or that jock or whatever. They've all been The Duff.

So, after that little rant, I come back to my point. I didn't create this word. It exists, but I think it needs to be stolen. To be used and controlled by those it was meant to hurt. That's the only way to regain the dignity it ripped from many girls of my genderation. Many boys, too.

So here's to my fellow Duffs! We rule the world!

Or, at least, we should.


Race said...

You can't be the Duff if you have no friends. ;)

*Race, finding solutions to the worlds problems since 1:15:49 on 7/13/09*

Kirsten Hubbard said...

what about the BUFF?

...Bitchy, Unintelligent, Fake Friend?

because although I can't say I ever had any DUFFs, at least when it comes to the "designated" part -- my friends are just my friends, no matter what they look like! -- I definitely had my share of BUFFs.

Kirsten Hubbard said...

and let me add, I have long since removed said BUFFs from my life :)

the one who lives her words said...

This post made me smile. Yeah, I'll admit my friends are all amazingly gorgeous and I'm always the ugly tag-on friend. But I actually thank you for writing this book. It's about time that the MC in a book isn't some prim and perfect, pretty girl. The Duffs will rule the world.


Joanna said...

I've always been the DUFF in my group of friends. For years, I hated it, but I loved my friends, so I didn't care...not too much anyway.
But reading The DUFF was definitely empowering for me, former (and sometimes current) DUFF. It's about time DUFFs are represented in books!

PS - I did have a BUFF or two. Ugh.

Chanelley said...

I've been The Duff when it comes to my bff. She's literally stunning and guys would talk to me to get to her. But remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She may be beautiful to some guys, but other guys may think she's The Duff for me! You just never know.

Kristin said...

I really don't know who was the Duff in my group of friends...I think we were all fabulously attractive, so there wasn't one. ;)

But I agree with Kirsten - I've had far too many Buffs.

suzie said...

Proud to be a DUFF :)

TereLiz said...

I know I've felt like the DUFF before, even if I was actually so skinny guys made fun of me for that.

Way to go, Kody, for introducing Bianca to the world. I just hope the world is ready for her. ;)

tilt190 said...

Very inspiring/empowering post here, Kody. :) Yeah, sometimes I've felt like the Duff, especially when I'm with my best friend--she's this total Audrey Hepburn with huge doe eyes.
But it's nice to know that there's gonna be a book out there soon that will be relatable to every girl, at one point in her life. C:

Nana L. said...

I am writing a children's book and ran across the term. I wanted to know if D.U.F.F. is copyrighted.
I also am proud to be a 56 year old DUFF. After a while you get used to it and you realize you are much more than a DUFF, no matter what people may say.

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