Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 07:55:00 EDT
From: "Dennis.Preston" 22709MGR[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MSU.EDU
Nie, nie,nie! A doofus (see DARE Vol. 1, p. 136) is definitely not Polish for
your backside. That is your dupa. A doofus is more often, according to
DARE, a dolt, stupid person, etc...
How about a new proverbial
-not to know your dupa from a doofus.
P.S.: To Polish speakers. Of course I know that dupa may be used for a stupid
person. It even has the nicely expanded form (which refers exclusively to a
stupid person rather than your backside) - dupa wolowa (literally beef's ass).
Since the report here was about an Italian-American from a richly
Polishly-endowed community (Buffalo), I do not in the least reject
cross-linguistic contamination of one sort or the other. E.g.,
Italian-American hears dupa for ass from Poles, transfers sense to doofus
learned in another area. [Don't overlook duff in all this; apparently a
northern English term which may have played a role in all this backside -
stupid person d+V+labial(+laxV)(+s).]
Friendly South Midlands Polish speaker,
di[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]nIs
22709mgr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msu.edu or preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]pilot.msu.edu