American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A large iron hook attached to a pole or handle and used to land large fish.
- n. Nautical A spar attached to the mast and used to extend the upper edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
- n. A sharp metal spur or spike fastened to the leg of a gamecock.
- n. A climbing hook used by telephone and electric line workers.
- n. Slang A trick or gimmick, especially one used in a swindle or to rig a game.
- n. Slang Harshness of treatment; abuse.
- v. To hook or land (a fish) using a gaff.
- v. To equip (a gamecock) with a gaff.
- v. Slang To take in or defraud; swindle.
- v. Slang To rig or fix in order to cheat: knew that the carnival games had been gaffed.
- n. Chiefly British A public place of entertainment, especially a cheap or disreputable music hall or theater.
- n. Slang Chiefly British A house, building, or apartment, especially where one resides.
- n. Variant of gaffe.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A sharp, strong iron hook, like a large fish-hook without a barb, inserted into or otherwise attached to a wooden handle of convenient length, used especially for landing large fish, as salmon, pike, bass, or the like, after they have been hooked on the line. Also called gaffhook. The angler's gaff is now usually made in detachable parts, the large hook, about three inches across the bend, being fitted into the handle by a screw. A similar instrument is used by whalers in handling blubber, and a two-pronged gaff is employed in some places, as at Cape Ann, in handling iced or salted fish.
- n. Nautical, a spar used to extend the upper edge of fore-and-aft sails which are not set on stays, as the mainsail of a sloop or the spanker of a ship. At the lower or fore end it has a kind of fork called the jaw (the prongs are the cheeks), which embraces the mast; the outer end is called the peak. The jaw is secured in its position by a rope passing round the mast. See cut in next column.
- n. The metal spur bound to the shanks of fighting-cocks; a gaffle.—
- To hook with a gaff; land by means of a gaff: as, to gaff a fish.
- To use the gaff: as, to gaff for an angler.
- n. In Great, Britain, a theater of the lowest class, the admission to which is generally a penny; a cheap and loosely conducted place of amusement, where singing and dancing take place.
- n. Short for gaffer.
- n. Used in the following phrase.
- n. rough or harsh treatment; criticism.
- n. A tool consisting of a large metal hook with a handle or pole, especially the one used to pull large fish aboard a boat.
- n. A minor error or faux pas.
- n. A trick or con.
- n. UK, slang A place of residence.
- n. nautical The upper spar used to control a gaff-rigged sail.
- n. A garment worn to hide the genitals by male transvestites.
- v. To use a gaff, especially to land a fish.
- v. To cheat or hoax
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A barbed spear or a hook with a handle, used by fishermen in securing heavy fish.
- n. (Naut.) The spar upon which the upper edge of a fore-and-aft sail is extended.
- n. Same as Gaffle, 1.
- v. To strike with a gaff or barbed spear; to secure by means of a gaff.
- n. a sharp metal spike or spur that is fastened to the leg of a gamecock
- n. a spar rising aft from a mast to support the head of a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail
- n. an iron hook with a handle; used for landing large fish
- Middle English, from Middle French gaffe, from Old Provençal gaf ("hook"), derivative of gafar ("to sieze"), from Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐍆𐍆- derived from 𐌲𐌹𐌱𐌰𐌽 (giban, "to give"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English gaffe, from Old French, from Old Provençal gaf, from gafar, to seize, of Germanic origin; see kap- in Indo-European roots.Origin unknown. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“So this gaff is all the reporters fault for being insecure?”
“And surprisingly, there are many situations when a gaff is a better tool than a landing net for releasing fish.”
“It will be interesting to see if this proves, once again, the truth of the old saying that in Washington, D.C. the definition of a "gaff" is slipping up and telling the truth.”
“How d'ye do, Ole," Charley greeted a big blue-shirted Swede who was greasing the jaws of the main gaff with a piece of pork rind.”
“This gaff is not to be used for fishing, but to be hung as a collector's piece.”
“The owner's bravery in recognising the nom-de-gaff is outstanding and to be aplauded.”
“A small hand gaff is a good idea if you plan on landing a fish for dinner.”
“At the same time, they called the gaff reprehensible, but that's not all.”
“The first rule of the gaff is never use one when a net will do.”
“Once the gaff is set, continue the pulling movement, now at an increasingly upward angle as the fish nears the side of the boat.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘gaff’.
Here I have in mind a list of words that could be spelled with only the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, and G--and thus could also be played as a tune on the piano.
Words made of the following: qwertasdfgzxcvb. I've stood on the shoulders of giants... users mollusque and reesetee made similar lists before I even existed on Wordnik. :)
The new favourite words of people on Twitter.
A script searches Twitter for "X is my new favourite word" and adds it to this list.
bumwank, calamity, recalcitrant, gayenese, jeeze, nonsense, flabbergasted, juxtapose, procrastinating, ossanity, biffing, loser and 1972 more...
My big word list.
Commonly Confused Words
Compare the etymologies of these words as given in the OED with the Gaelic backgrounders in this book, How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads (Counterpunch, 2007). Awai...
A place for me to store my Newfoundland English, as I learn it. (Might take a while.)
being items related to boats, ships, sailing, nautical and naval lore &c.
Terms defined in the glossary of Clifford W. Ashley's "Yankee Whaler".
. . . apologetic statesmen of a compromising kind,
Such as--What d'ye call him--Thing'em-bob, and likewise--Never-mind,
and 'St--'st--'st--and What's-his-name, and also You-know-who-- <...
Looking for tweets for gaff.