- the chief electrician on a motion-picture or television production.
- Informal. an old man.
- British. a foreman or overseer, especially the boss of a group of physical laborers.
- Glassmaking. a master glassblower responsible for shaping glassware.
Origin of gaffer
First recorded in 1565–75; contraction of godfather
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gaffer
"If your cask is leer, I warrant your purse is full, gaffer," shouted Hordle John.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
What did “she” mean by talking of “Gaffer,” in that strange way?Clare Avery
Emily Sarah Holt
There were deeper currents than any he had seen at Gaffer Quelch's school.
That's the only thing you seem to have brought with you from Gaffer Quelch's.
My gaffer, Ole, had done me the honour in the forenoon of losing an 18-lb.Lines in Pleasant Places
- an old man, esp one living in the country: often used affectionately or patronizinglyCompare gammer
- informal, mainly British a boss, foreman, or owner of a factory, mine, etc
- the senior electrician on a television or film set
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
Word Origin and History for gaffer
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper