Poof, Pouf or Pouffe

Photo of author


Poof, pouf and pouffe are three words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the definitions of the words poof, pouf and pouffe, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Poof is mostly used as an interjection to mean something has disappeared. Poof may also be used to express derision or dismissal. Poof is used in British English as a slang term for a homosexual, it is an insult. The word poof has been in use since the 1820s, most probably as an imitative word of a puff of air.

Pouf may mean a certain hairstyle from the 1700s or a generally bouffant hairdo. Pouf may also refer to a gathered puff in a woman’s garment. Pouf is also a variant spelling of the word pouffe. Pouf is derived from the French word bouffer which means to puff.

A pouffe is a low footstool or ottoman. It is also derived from the French word bouffer.


The Wall Street Journal highlighted the potential problem with both funds in a September article, “Could Some VIX-Related Funds Go ‘Poof’ in a Day?” (The Wall Street Journal)

Now the library has holdings in more than 30 languages and offers digital downloads that go poof when the due date expires. (The New York Times)

Also, for that matter, his past connection to Blaine Trump, his former sister-in-law and the erstwhile socialite who put the pouf in pouf skirt. (The Bend Bulletin)

Tripping over a pouffe or having to fight a large plant just to sit down is annoying, not to mention unwelcoming. (The New Zealand Herald)

There are lots of Moroccan-style pouffes out there but these ones are the particularly eye-catching; hand-stitched in Marrakech, they’re made using hand-dyed leather and decorated with embroidery, they come in a range of vibrant colours as well as silver and gold tones. (The Independent)

Enjoyed reading about these homophones? Check out some others we covered: