Chuff, Chuffed, Chuffing: The Meaning Behind the Word

My horse chuffing with love

Did you know that chuffed has two different meanings? Like many words within the English language, what they mean depends where you are when the word is said. If you say “pants” in America, you mean trousers. In England it means underwear. A batch in Britain is a type of bread roll, while in America and Canada, it is a group of something. A batch of cookies for example.

My newest addition to the list of confounding words that change meaning based on geography is “chuffed”. I came across this word at work, a colleague approached me to say I “would be chuffed to hear what ____ child did”. I followed her into our daycare room with apprehension, because I really didn’t know what chuffed meant. I thought it could mean that I was going to be angry with a kid for bad behavior. Turns out instead the boy had done something good. Confusion ensued.

Chuff, Chuffed, Chuffing, Etc

Chuffed (America): The sound a horse makes in greeting, or a sound tigers occasionally make. Kind of like a vvvv vvvv noise.
My horse chuffed with affection at me.

Chuffed (United Kingdom): To be excited, proud, happy with a person of action.
You will be well chuffed with the beer I bought.

Navigating the world of vocabulary in two different countries across the world from each other can be hard.

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