Pat vs Cuff - What's the difference?

pat | cuff |

As a noun cuff is

(obsolete) glove; mitten or cuff can be a blow, especially with the open hand; a box; a slap.

As a verb cuff is

to furnish with cuffs or cuff can be to hit, as a reproach, particularly with the open palm to the head; to slap.



Etymology 1

From (etyl) . For loss of ''l , compare (patch) for (platch); (pate) for (plate), etc. See (l).


(en noun)
  • The sound of a light slap or tap with a soft flat object, especially of a footstep
  • A light tap or slap, especially with the hands
  • A flattish lump of soft matter, especially butter or dung.
  • * Charles Dickens
  • It looked like a tessellated work of pats of butter.
    Derived terms
    * pat on the back (n.) * patter * pitter-pat: a diminutive of footfalls. "the pitter-pat of little feet running around the house."


  • To (gently) tap the flat of one's hand on a person or thing.
  • To show affection, he decided he would pat the boy on the head.
  • * 1877 , (Anna Sewell), (Black Beauty) Chapter 22[]
  • He came round to each of us to pat and speak to us for the last time; his voice sounded very sad.
  • To hit lightly and repeatedly with the flat of the hand to make smooth or flat
  • I patted the cookie dough into shape.
  • * 1900 , L. Frank Baum , The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Chapter 23
  • Before they went to see Glinda, however, they were taken to a room of the Castle, where Dorothy washed her face and combed her hair, and the Lion shook the dust out of his mane, and the Scarecrow patted himself into his best shape, and the Woodman polished his tin and oiled his joints.
  • (Australia, New Zealand) To stroke or fondle (an animal).
  • Do you want to pat the cat?
  • To gently rain.
  • Derived terms
    * pat down * pat on the back (v.)


    (en adjective)
  • timely, suitable, apt, opportune, ready for the occasion; especially of things spoken
  • a pat expression
  • * 1788, Cowper, Pity for Africans , p 18
  • A story so pat , you may think it is coined.
  • trite, being superficially complete, lacking originality
  • * 2010, New York Times , Editorial: Jobs and the Class of 2010, May 23.
  • The pat answer is that college students should consider graduate school as a way to delay a job search until things turn around, and that more high school students should go to college to improve their prospects. ''
    Derived terms
    * pat hand


    (en adverb)
  • opportunely, in a timely or suitable way.
  • * c''. 1600 , William Shakespeare, '' III.iii
  • Now might I do it pat
  • Perfectly.
  • He has the routine down pat .
    Derived terms
    * pat in the middle

    See also

    * strike * hit * feel * name

    Etymology 2



    (en noun)
  • patent
  • (knitting) pattern
  • * 2012 , Kari Cornell, Knitting Sweaters from around the World (page 52)
  • Work in pat to next underarm marker, sm, place next st on holder


    * ----



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) cuffe, .


    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) glove; mitten.
  • The end of a shirt sleeve that covers the wrist.
  • The end of a pants leg, folded up.
  • Verb

    (en verb)
  • To furnish with cuffs.
  • To handcuff.
  • Etymology 2

    1520, “to hit”, apparently of (etyl) origin, from (etyl) . More at (l), (l), (l).


    (en verb)
  • To hit, as a reproach, particularly with the open palm to the head; to slap.
  • * Shakespeare
  • I swear I'll cuff you, if you strike again.
  • * Dryden
  • They with their quills did all the hurt they could, / And cuffed the tender chickens from their food.
  • To fight; to scuffle; to box.
  • * Dryden
  • While the peers cuff to make the rabble sport.
  • To buffet.
  • * Tennyson
  • cuffed by the gale


    (en noun)
  • A blow, especially with the open hand; a box; a slap.
  • * Spenser
  • Snatcheth his sword, and fiercely to him flies; / Who well it wards, and quitten cuff with cuff.
  • * Hudibras
  • Many a bitter kick and cuff .