Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 11:11:18 -0500

From: Anita Puckett apuckett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]VT.EDU

Subject: koofer revisited

Ok, for those of you having any interest in the origin of "koofer," I asked

the Alumni Association here at Virginia Tech for an answer. It is as


A "Coofer King" is a student who has great success with "coofers." The

word "coofer," almost unknown on other campuses, became a part of Tech

language sometime in the early 'Forties; it refers to a test or problem,

previously taken or worked, which is consulted later, sometimes illicitly,

by a student who has not yet taken the test or worked the problem. The

term was coined by students at Tech's now defunct extension branch at

Bluefield College who later transferred to Blacksburg, bringing the word

with them. The word had its origin in "coffer," a legitimate synonym for a

strongbox. Some students at Bluefield had access to a coffer there that

contained files of old tests and problems, and they soon came to refer to

the materials themselves as "coffers." In time, the sound of the word was

softened to "coofer," and still later the spelling was changed to "koofer";

it is often used as a verb in such constructions as "to coofer a problem."

(thanks to a photocopied page from some unknown publication of the Virginia

Tech Alumni Association).

Anita Puckett

Appalachian Studies Program

Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

Virginia Tech University

Blacksburg VA 24061-0227

(540) 231-9526