Shufti is UK slang for 'taking a look at something'. It comes from Arabic, meaning 'have you seen?', and made its way into English through British troops stationed in the Middle East. As its entrance into the English language was not well documented in print, we aren't certain when it first came into common usage, although English lexicographer Eric Partridge reports that it first came into use by servicemen at Royal Air Force stations circa 1925. It was certainly in common military use by World War II, where it was used to refer to a quick reconnaissance.

These days shufti is still in use, but not as common as it once was. As slang, it is difficult to find a definitive meaning, but the most accurate definition would probably be 'a quick but thorough examination'. Exact usage and meaning obviously will vary from person to person. Shufti is most often used in the phrase 'take a shufti', as in, "take a shufti at this doohickey!" or 'have a shufti' as in "we'll be having a right shufti at it when we get there!".

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