Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[goh-fer] /ˈgoʊ fər/
any of several ground squirrels of the genus Citellus, of the prairie regions of North America.
(initial capital letter) a native or inhabitant of Minnesota (used as a nickname).
(initial capital letter) Computers.
  1. a protocol for a menu-based system of accessing documents on the Internet.
  2. any program that implements this protocol.
verb (used without object)
  1. to mine unsystematically.
  2. to enlarge a hole, as in loose soil, with successively larger blasts.
Origin of gopher1
1785-95; earlier megopher, magopher gopher tortoise; of obscure origin; spelling copies gopher wood Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for gophering
Historical Examples
  • They could not have missed seeing the gophering that the old man had done on the hillside above The Four Pools.

    The Heritage of the Hills Arthur P. Hankins
British Dictionary definitions for gophering


Also called pocket gopher. any burrowing rodent of the family Geomyidae, of North and Central America, having a thickset body, short legs, and cheek pouches
another name for ground squirrel
any burrowing tortoise of the genus Gopherus, of SE North America
gopher snake, another name for bull snake
Word Origin
C19: shortened from earlier megopher or magopher, of obscure origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gophering



1812, American English, perhaps an Englishing of Louisiana French gaufre "honeycomb, waffle," said to have been used by French settlers in reference to small mammals on analogy of the structure of their burrows, from Old French gaufre, of Frankish origin. The rodent was the nickname of people from Arkansas (1845) and later Minnesota (1872). The gopherwood tree of the Bible (used by Noah to make the ark, Gen. vi:14) is unrelated; it is from Hebrew gofer, perhaps meaning the cypress.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for gophering

gopher 1


  1. A young thief or hoodlum: tough West Side gophers who wouldn't hesitate to use a gun (1893+)
  2. A safecracker (1901+ Underworld)
  3. A safe or vault (1970s+ Underworld); (1870s+)
  4. gofer

gopher 2


To hit a GOFER BALL in baseball: only about the fifth or sixth that Orosco had gophered home the eventual gamer

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for gophering

Word Value for gophering

Scrabble Words With Friends