- an iron hook with a handle for landing large fish.
- the spur on a climbing iron, especially as used by telephone linemen.
- Nautical. a spar rising aft from a mast to support the head of a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail (gaff sail).
- a metal spur for a gamecock.
- to hook or land (a fish) with a gaff.
Origin of gaff1
- harsh treatment or criticism: All the gaff he took never made him bitter.
- stand/take the gaff, Slang. to weather hardship or strain; endure patiently.
Origin of gaff2
- Slang. to cheat; fleece.
- British Slang. to gamble, especially to indulge in petty gambling, as to toss coins.
Origin of gaff3
Examples from the Web for gaff
Meanwhile, on the other end, US Airways seems genuinely confused by their gaff.Plane-Related Incidents Reach New Level of Weird
April 16, 2014
A mainsail carried by a gaff has two halyards, the throat and peak.Boys' Book of Model Boats
Raymond Francis Yates
In an hour and five minutes I brought him to gaff—a small fish.
When Dan lunged with the gaff the tuna made a tremendous splash that deluged us.
Billy,” the skipper ordered, “get forward with a gaff and keep him off.Billy Topsail & Company
Used aboard yachts for bending on the gaff topsail halliards.Boy Scouts Handbook
Boy Scouts of America
- angling a stiff pole with a stout prong or hook attached for landing large fish
- nautical a boom hoisted aft of a mast to support a gaffsail
- a metal spur fixed to the leg of a gamecock
- angling to hook or land (a fish) with a gaff
- slang to cheat; hoax
- slang foolish talk; nonsense
- blow the gaff British slang to divulge a secret
- stand the gaff slang, mainly US and Canadian to endure ridicule, difficulties, etc
- a person's home, esp a flat
- Also called: penny-gaff a cheap or low-class place of entertainment, esp a cheap theatre or music hall in Victorian England
Word Origin and History for gaff
"iron hook," c.1300, gaffe, from Old French gaffe "boat hook" (see gaffe). Specifically of the hook on a fishing spear from 1650s.
"loud, rude talk," 1825, from Scottish dialect, perhaps a survival of Old English gafspræc "blasphemous or ribald speech," or from gaff (n.1), and cf. gaffe.
"cheap music hall or theater; place of amusement for the lowest classes," 1850s, British slang, earlier "a fair" (1753), of unknown origin.
Idioms and Phrases with gaff
see stand the gaff.