I give up. What does "sluff" mean? And "anymore"?

At the moment our project at work involves reading papers written by 10th graders in Utah. And this word, sluff, keeps appearing in their papers. It does not, however, appear in a dictionary, so it must be a reagionalism and slang. It’s not used in any consistant manner, so it’s hard to pin-point what they mean through context. Can someone who uses the word explain what it means?

Until the Dialect Survey I never saw an example of someone using “anymore” in a sentence. Now I’ve seen it in a paper, and it doesn’t seem to indicate time like I assumed. What’s meant by it?

This thread has good info on both the correct and (depressingly increasingly common) incorrect uses of “anymore”

As for “sluff” … there I cannot help you

From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

As noted, there are four separate definitions for slough, so you may want to go to m-w.com and check each of them out. Then, if the use appears appropriate, mention that the sluff spelling is not standard.

It’s entirely possible this is correct, but I’d say it’s equally likely that what Elfkin is running into is SMS(?) text messaging slang, given that it’s being used by 10th graders. What we need, here, is a hip 14 year old to confirm/deny/explain.

Well, a hip teen would be good, although my point was that if the meaning in the essays (based on context) matched some dictionary definition, there would be an initial confirmation that they were using some approximation of established English.
(Of course, it might have been actually worse if the apparent meaning matched the versions of slough that rhyme with cow and coo instead of cuff. :wink: )

I may be way off base here because it was many years ago but
at that age we used the word (never saw it spelled) to mean…

  1. to be lazy or inactive (I’m going home and sluffing off)
  2. ignore or avoid (I’m going to sluff off math class today)
  3. bumble through ( I didn’t study so I’ll sluff my way through the test)

Speaking as a father of three current and former teenagers in Utah, I can tell you authoritatively that “sluff” means to skip class, or as we said in our day, to play hookey. I thought that this was a universal usage, but apparently it is a regional thing.

Doesn’t anyone sluff off anymore?
That sentence makes perfect sense to me…

:smack: I never heard anyone pronounce it before - so it’s really pronounced sluff not slow (err, as n cow)?

I think the common usage, meaning to avoid work/class/responsibility, fits within transitive definition #1 above (to cast off). It’s just commonly misspelled as sluff.

[sup]4[/sup]slough 'sluf*\ or sluffvt 1 : to cast off (as if shedding one’s skin.)

That’s the definition I learned (through my family, in Texas.) We spelled it slough.

[sub]*The u should be a schwa, but I couldn’t figure out how to map the letter.[/sub]

Slough prounced sluff: to cast off, etc., or, as a noun, skin or scales that have been shed.

Slough pronounced to rhyme with cow: despair (probably from a metaphor for the next meaning as used by Bunyan in The Pilgrim’s Progress in the “Slough of Despond”, but I’m speculating.)

Slough pronounced slew: either a muddy, sticky, swamp or a reed-choked swamp or backwater (I think that the Brits and some regional North American dialects pronounce the “swamp” meaning to rhyme with cow, as well).

Probably unrelated but “shluff” is Yiddish for sleep… But I doubt Yiddish has much influence on Utahan 10th graders.

As a former Utahn, I can confirm the regionalism “sluff” means “to skip class”. I thought it was a normal word until I moved several thousand miles away (in high school) and suddenly people had no idea what I was talking about.

Yep, ‘nother Utahoo checkin’ in. “Slough” often mispelled “sluff” is to play hookey or ditch class.

So have you encountered “Ignert” yet. I hate that one.

When playing cards in University we used refer to one player’s style as rough and slough (Ruff n’ sluff) essentailly it was used in games of Eucher or Bridge where the player was forced to discard an off suit and would give up a supposed high card but was in reality voiding their hand of that suit.

We would also use the term slough off as in discarding the card.

Here on the Canadian prairies, “slough” to rhyme with cuff is used in card games like bridge, and means to discard a card of a suit other than the suit led.

“Slough” to rhyme with “coo” means a small, rank body of water.

I’m not familiar with pronouncing it to rhyme with “cow” - I’ve always pronounced “Slough of Despond” as “Slew of Despond”.

Not familiar with the hookey meaning.

Thanks for the help! For the most part “cutting class” fits well with the sense that we see it being used in. While we did wonder at the sluff->Slough connection, part of the puzzlement comes from the fact that most people don’t pronounce slough “sluff”. It’s said in a way to rhyme with trough “sl-off.”

Most people here where I live, that is.

I was born and raised in Massachusetts but went to college in Utah (long story, don’t ask). I’m very familiar with using the term “sluff” to mean skip, as in “I sluffed class today.” I could have sworn that I’ve known the term since my childhood, but now I’m not so sure. If it really is a Utah regionalism, maybe that’s where I picked it up…