Monday, December 31, 2007

What Is Taffer?

On certain occasions, some bloggers that I've met asked me one question of the word 'taffer'. I guess it is now time for me to give an explanation of the usage of the word.

First and foremost, the word was originated from Thief Trilogy - a series of stealth games.

Origins of the Word

The word taffer was coined up for the making of the 1998 game called Thief: The Dark Project. The game was developed by the now-defunct Looking Glass Studios which comprises of certain core members like Doug Church (Ultima Underworld II) and Ken Levine (who went on as Creative Director of Bioshock). The studio was also responsible for its sequel, Thief II: Metal Age and System Shock II.

The first thief game has successfully coined up a new sub-genre in gaming called as FP-Stealth, meaning that it has more emphasis on being stealthy, no killing, staying in shadows. According to the developer journals, the word was coined up when the developers wanted to have a unique name that can be used to describe criminals that the City Watch characters can call. Of course, calling them criminal is kind of boring, if spoken repetitively.

Why do I put the name Taffer?

The way the word was conceived was unintentional as there was a word called 'taffing', a Welsh slang / Saxon Dictionary for the term low-life common criminal that exists. The name got struck and hence the writers felt that it brings new way of calling a criminal. So, whether if you are a thief, vagabond, cutthroats and called as a taffer, or a common breed of criminal. Later, the slang word evolved into anything that is low-life. So you can say that 'What the taff' (it can be 'heck, damn' or whatever that is low-life!)

The way the word was used in saying things low-life had a very amusing reaction. For those who played those three games, you would notice in certain in-game conversations the word is always mentioned at least once. In fact the summary is formed as Taffer = "Person or thing which taffs" in which Taffs means (shows low-life)

Various real life interpretations of 'taffer':

1. A taffer is of a person that tricks, deceives or fools.
2. A Mother Goose (welsh) nursery rhyme with the line 'Taffy was a Welshman'. Taffy is a slang name for a Welshman.
3. In Suffolk, England, the word refers to spitting. To taff means to spit.

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