Saffa isn't the arabic verb "to see" but "shaffa/yashufu" is. If one were to say "I saw it" and "it" was a masculine noun, you could say, "shuftu-he" which, when said quickly, would sound like "shufti" in certain dialects.But I've never heard of "shufti" in English.
As far as I knew, the "shufti" (or whatever the correct spelling was; long since phono-anglicized) was the balcony in a harem from which one would look at the selection of women on offer and make one's pick. Hence, to scout out the situation, see what's available: "to have a shufti".
Hang on... does this mean the esteemed Oxford English Dictionary got it wrong? Oh, heaven forefend! I use 'shufti' all the time, as in "Can you take a shufti at this for me please?"
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