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gaffer

[gaf-er] /ˈgæf ər/
noun
1.
the chief electrician on a motion-picture or television production.
2.
Informal. an old man.
3.
British. a foreman or overseer, especially the boss of a group of physical laborers.
4.
Glassmaking. a master glassblower responsible for shaping glassware.
Origin of gaffer
1565-1575
1565-75; contraction of godfather
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for gaffer
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for gaffer

gaffer

/ˈɡæfə/
noun
1.
an old man, esp one living in the country: often used affectionately or patronizingly Compare gammer
2.
(informal, mainly Brit) a boss, foreman, or owner of a factory, mine, etc
3.
the senior electrician on a television or film set
Word Origin
C16: alteration of godfather
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gaffer
n.

1580s, "elderly rustic," apparently a contraction of godfather (cf. gammer); originally "old man," it was applied from 1841 to foremen and supervisors, which sense carried over 20c. to "electrician in charge of lighting on a film set."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gaffer

gaffer

noun

  1. One's father; old man: Studs felt that Mr O'Brien was different from his own gaffer (1659+)
  2. An old man: Look at that gaffer trying to stand on his head (1575+)
  3. A foreman or boss, such as the manager of a circus, head glassblower, chief electrician on a movie set, etc (1841 +)

Related Terms

old cocker

[fr British dialect, ''grandfather, godfather''; the dated meaning of the first sense is actually ''master, governor,'' often synonyms of ''father'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for gaffer

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Word Value for gaffer

13
14
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