Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 11:11:18 -0500 From: Anita Puckett 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 follows: 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 apuckett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]