What is a Muff?

Despite the fact that it doesn’t have any relationship to hair, you’ve probably heard the term muff? before. Usually a woman’s vagina is covered with hair, so the word muff is used to describe this untamed hair. In the late 1800s, it was a common term for drunken fools, and was even used as slang for women in the U.S. by 1914.

In Medieval Latin, the word for “muff” was muffulae, which means a hand warmer. Monks wore sheepskin coverings, and the Romans had separate hand and arm coverings. In Old French, muffle meant “a thick mitten or glove.” This French term, which was derived from the Dutch word mof, was likely the origin of the English word muff.

Another slang term for a woman or girl is muffin. It’s an euphemism for a female, though Millikin didn’t have a lot of sympathy for the muff. In the book, Muffy had a friend named Lavinia, who teased him, taught him French, and told him stories about his mamma. The name muff, however, was given to Muffy long before the current gynecological connotations were introduced, and the Muffys quickly dropped it for something less gynecological.