Mark Satchwill, my arty other half at NoHo Noir, introduced me to this word, British slang (I learned from Urban Dictionary) for "lame."
Naff. It's my new favorite word. I don't understand why it never caught on here in the US, where sillier words have become common currency.
I've been thinking about words a lot lately, specifically slang, because late last year I tried something I'd never done before--writing a story set in swinging 60s London.
I would have felt more comfortable if it were set in 1860s London because there's more of a margin for error and it's not like someone is going to pop in and say, "That's not what we said!" (Well, there are sharp-eyed people who know the 1860s inside and out who would probably let me know if I got it wrong, but you know what I mean.)
It's really hard to be persuasive writing about another time and another culture, and I have a horror of making a misstep especially since I tend to get snarky about writers who don't do their research and get things wrong. (You know the kind of thing I mean--novelists who describe the fields of white marble crosses in Arlington Cemetery not realizing they're describing Flanders Fields and not the garden of stone that is the nation's most-storied national cemetery where all the tombstones are tombstone-shaped.) And language is the trickiest thing.
I have several friends from France whose English is superb--nuanced and slangy and grammatically perfect. The only thing that marks them as non-native speakers, besides their accents, is that instead of saying "last night," they say "yesterday night."
Which reminds me (yes, I know this is a NAFF segue) of a story I once read, probably in EQMM. Set in WWII it was about a German spy who was caught because when he spoke (in English) about the moon, he referred to its gender as male. That's the kind of thing I mean.