- a person's leg, especially an attractive female leg.
Origin of gam1
1775–85; probably < Polari < Italian gamba leg; see jamb1
- a herd or school of whales.
- Eastern New England, Nautical. a social meeting, visit, or the like, as between whaling vessels at sea.
- (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.
Origin of gam2
1840–50, Americanism; perhaps dialectal variant of game1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gam
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
A “gam,” good reader, may be described as a “small tea-party” on the sea.Philosopher Jack
Judge Chester, the magistrate, was at the head of the gam, and so it was bound to succeed.Sailing Alone Around The World
Amal′gam, a name applied to the alloys of mercury with the other metals.
- a school of whales
- nautical an informal visit between crew members of whalers
- NZ a flock of large sea birds
- (intr) (of whales) to form a school
- nautical (of members of the crews of whalers) to visit (each other) informally
- (tr) US to visit or exchange visits with
C19: perhaps dialect variant of game 1
- slang a leg, esp a woman's shapely leg
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
Word Origin and History for gam
"a leg," 1781, see gams.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper