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[gam] /gæm/
noun, Slang.
a person's leg, especially an attractive female leg.
Origin of gam1
1775-85; probably < Polari < Italian gamba leg; see jamb1


[gam] /gæm/
a herd or school of whales.
Eastern New England, Nautical. a social meeting, visit, or the like, as between whaling vessels at sea.
verb (used without object), gammed, gamming.
(of whales) to assemble into a herd or school.
Nautical. (of the officers and crews of two whaling vessels) to visit or converse with one another for social purposes.
Eastern New England. to participate in a gam or social visit.
1840-50, Americanism; perhaps dialectal variant of game1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gam
Historical Examples
  • There was but one blot upon his character—he hated Mrs. gam.

    The Paris Sketch Book of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh William Makepeace Thackeray
  • There is also another difference—there are no ladies at a gam.

    Fighting the Whales R.M. Ballantyne
  • A “gam,” good reader, may be described as a “small tea-party” on the sea.

    Philosopher Jack R.M. Ballantyne
  • Judge Chester, the magistrate, was at the head of the gam, and so it was bound to succeed.

  • Amal′gam, a name applied to the alloys of mercury with the other metals.

  • The sacrifices that Mrs. gam had made for that daughter were, she said, astonishing.

    Men's Wives William Makepeace Thackeray
  • To gam,” among the sealing-schooners, is a substitute for the verbs “to visit,” “to gossip.

    The Sea-Wolf Jack London
  • This man, whose surname gam signifies p. 440crooked, was a petty chieftain of Breconshire.

    Wild Wales George Borrow
  • During the interval, they sighted three other whaling craft, and stopped to gam with them.

    The Sea Bride Ben Ames Williams
  • gambia (gam'bi-a), an English colony in western Africa along the river gambia.

British Dictionary definitions for gam


a school of whales
(nautical) an informal visit between crew members of whalers
(NZ) a flock of large sea birds
verb gams, gamming, gammed
(intransitive) (of whales) to form a school
(nautical) (of members of the crews of whalers) to visit (each other) informally
(transitive) (US) to visit or exchange visits with
Word Origin
C19: perhaps dialect variant of game1


(slang) a leg, esp a woman's shapely leg
Word Origin
C18: probably from Old Northern French gambe or Lingua Franca gambe; see jamb
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 gam

"a leg," 1781, see gams.

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

gam 1


A social visit; party (1893+)


  1. To boast; show off (1950s+ Black)
  2. To flirt (1950s+ Black)
  3. To gossip; visit (1893+)

[origin unknown; perhaps fr nautical use, ''a meeting of whaling ships at sea, with attendant talk and exchange of news'' found by 1850; perhaps fr 18th-century gammon, ''talk, chatter''; probably ultimately fr Middle English gamon, ''to play, frolic'']

gam 2


A leg, esp a woman's leg •Most often in the plural: regarding her superb gams with affection/ Gavilan has spindly gams, a thin neck, and a wasp waist

[1781+; perhaps fr Northern French gambe, ''leg'']

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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