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Grumpy, crotchety, ill-tempered. It’s a neologism of Lewis Carroll’s, from his nonsense poem “Jabberwocky” (in Through the Looking-Glass, 1871).

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood

Carroll defined it as “a state of mind when the voice is gruffish, the manner roughish, and the temper huffish.”

The word made it into a few mundane dictionaries, but it is far from mainstream; it’s not particular to fandom, either, but it’s used enough we thought we should define it. Don’t be uffish about it, OK?

See also: Grotch.

Fanspeak 1871
This is a fanspeak page. Please extend it by adding information about when and by whom it was coined, whether it’s still in use, etc.