April 22nd, 2004

WotD: Just Looking, Part Two

Today’s WotD is:
• noun (pl. shuftis) Brit. Informal a quick look or reconnoitre.
ORIGIN World War Two military slang: from an Arabic word meaning ‘try to see’.

Shufti (or shufty) means to take a look at something, to take a butchers! It's an old Arabic word (from Arabic sufti, Have you seen?), picked up by British soldiers during World War II, in Egypt and North Africa.

It has now passed into common use in the UK … a particular favourite of scriptwriters of police dramas.

Pronunciation guide: Shoof-tee (as in shoe)

Suggested usage: I'll have a shufti at the prices when I get to the bar
Have a shufti and tell weather it's raining

Now I’m off to have a shufti at the Troy website.