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From Middle English baffen (“to bark”). Cognate with Dutch baffen (“to bark”), Low German baffen (“to bark”), German baffen, bäfzen (“to bark”), Danish bjæffe (“to yelp”), Swedish bjäbba (“to yelp, bark”). Compare buff, yaff.
Probably from Old French baffe (“slap in the face”) (French baffe), of imitative origin.
- To hit or strike, especially with something flat or soft.
- (golf) To strike the ground with the bottom of the club when taking a stroke.
- (Geordie) blank (Can we add an example for this sense?)