Etymology
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face-off (n.)

also faceoff, 1886 in sports (hockey, etc., originally lacrosse), from verbal phrase in a sports sense, attested from 1867 (see face (v.) + off (adv.)); the off perhaps is based on stand-off or similar constructions.

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lift-off (adj.)

"removable by lifting," 1907, from the verbal phrase, from lift (v.) + off (adv.)

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off-color (adj.)

1858, "defective or inferior because not of a natural or proper color," from off (prep.) + color (n.); originally used of gems; figurative extension to "not of the proper character, of questionable taste, risqué" is American English, 1867.

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off-key (adv.)

by 1911, of music or singing, "not having the correct tone or pitch, out of tune," from off (prep.) + musical sense of key (n.1). Figurative sense "not in accordance with what is appropriate in the circumstances" is by 1943.

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cut-off (n.)

also cutoff, 1640s, "act of cutting off," also "portion cut off," from verbal phrase cut off (see cut (v.) + off (adv.)). Sense of "new and shorter channel formed on a river" (especially the Mississippi) is from 1773; of road that cut off or shorten a route, from 1806; of clothing (adj.), from 1840. Cutoffs "jeans or other long pants trimmed down to be shorts" is by 1967.

The verbal phrase is attested from late 14c. as "detach by cutting;" from 1570s as "exclude from access" and "bring to an abrupt end;" and from 1590s as "intercept, stop the flow or passage of."

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kick-off (n.)

also kickoff, kick off, 1857, "first kick in a football match," from kick (v.) + off (adv.). The verbal phrase also is from 1857. Figurative sense of "start, beginning event" is from 1875.

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off-duty (adj.)

"not employed or occupied with one's normal work," 1743, from off (prep.) + duty.

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rip-off (n.)

"an act of fraud, a swindle," 1969, from verbal phrase rip off "to steal or rob" (c. 1967) in African-American vernacular, from rip (v.) + off (adv.). Rip was prison slang for "to steal" since 1904, and was also used in this sense in 12c. The specific meaning "an exploitative imitation" is from 1971, also "a plagiarism." Related: Ripped-off.

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send-off (n.)

"a farewell" (especially a funeral), 1872 ("Mark Twain"), from the verbal phrase send off "cause to be sent" (attested by 1660s), from send (v.) + off (adv.). Earlier a send-off was "a start," as on a journey or race (1841), hence "a display of good-will on the occasion of such."

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