By Kenneth Hudson
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Extra resources for A Dictionary of the Teenage Revolution and its Aftermath
Bet you'll buzz for these' (Jackie, 25 Jan 1964). This is now obsolescent, or at least no longer in fashion among members of this age group. It never had any drug associations and its use was restricted to teenagers and to journalists operating in the teenage market. c Caff. The British have been taking pleasure in mispronouncing and mutilating French words since at least the time of Elizabeth I, and probably for much longer. 'Caff' was in existence as an abbreviation of 'cafe' in the early 1920s- it may well owe its origin to the presence of British troops in France and Belgium during World War I - but, among educated people, it has always been considered distinctly low.
Ii) To make a mess of things. 'That tour was blown out' (interview with rock musician in Zigzag, Aug 1972) and 'to avoid blowing the whole project out' (Sounds, 21 July 1979). (iii) To greatly impress. 'It will always be people like Ray Charles who still blow me out' (interview with rock musician in Zigzag, Sept 1973). It is not accidental that the examples given above all come from magazines closely associated with the world of rock and pop music. These are the people who need phrases of this slightly outrageous kind as much as they need the clothes and the hairstyles which stamp them as being not as other men.
Buff. An expert, devotee, enthusiast. This American term, current in its present-day sense in the early 1950s, has not yet been fully absorbed into British English, even among people strongly sympathetic to the American way of life and to things American. Journalists have toiled long and hard to get it taken over and acclimatized, but, despite their sterling efforts, the word is nearly always spoken and written in fairly obvious inverted commas, to indicate its non-British origin and flavour. So, 'Jazz-buffs may find the evening light on scholarship' (The Guardian, 13 March 1979), and' ...