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Posted by Andy Clayton on April 27, 2012 at 03:45:56 user cousin_jack.

Listening to BBC radio 2 yesterday afternoon, my ears pricked up when'Duffers' was mentioned. The 'Factoid' concerned the origin of the word. This was given as a term to describe an Australian cattle rustler or cow stealer.
That is interesting given Mrs. Walker's Australian background. Would AR have been aware of the Australian source for the word.
The word, as used in the books, implies an idiot rather than a n'er do well or rogue.
I suspect it was in general usage but any original meanings were obscure. I think there are tarboarders out there who know where to delve for etymological roots.
(This all pre-supposes that the 'factoid' was accurate!)

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