I would like to know what is the difference between the tuff/tough/difficult times.

I would be glad, if someone could explain me the correct usage of those. Does it have any significant difference?

For example can I say "tuff time" if I have a "fairly bad" day? What about the "quite bad" day?

I appreciate every answer!

  • 5
    The adjective "tuff" is slang for "cool/stylish" or non standard spelling of "tough" and not supposed to be used in writing. Definitions of tough and difficult.
    – None
    Jul 10, 2016 at 11:22
  • 1
    I've never really heard of "tuff" before. As for "tough time" and "difficult time", these is no significant difference in meaning.
    – Em.
    Jul 10, 2016 at 12:11
  • Ohh, I see. Nowadays I heard a lot in conversations, or in YouTube videos. Let me find you a few example:). Jul 10, 2016 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


As others have said "tuff" is an alternate slang spelling of "tough". In my personal opinion the spelling "tuff" feels uncool and outdated. You can look at the ngram and draw your own conclusion.

Here are some examples where tough and difficult have similar meanings:

I'm having a tough/difficult time fitting in at my new workplace.

My father just passed away and I've been having a tough/difficult time lately.

If we compare tough/difficult to fairly/quite bad. I would say that the former implies some sort of difficulties in performing a task whereas the latter just implies a generally bad situation.

I've been trying to set up a new webpage but the web server is using a outdated OS, the electricity went out yesterday and then I forgot the admin password this morning. I'm having a pretty tough/difficult time with this.

A bird pooped on my windshield, I forgot my lunch at home and my boss told me that I will have to come in to work on Saturday. I'm having a fairly/quite/pretty bad day.


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