- harsh treatment or criticism: All the gaff he took never made him bitter.
- stand/take the gaff, Slang. to weather hardship or strain; endure patiently.
Origin of gaff2
- angling a stiff pole with a stout prong or hook attached for landing large fish
- nautical a boom hoisted aft of a mast to support a gaffsail
- a metal spur fixed to the leg of a gamecock
- angling to hook or land (a fish) with a gaff
- slang to cheat; hoax
- slang foolish talk; nonsense
- blow the gaff British slang to divulge a secret
- stand the gaff slang, mainly US and Canadian to endure ridicule, difficulties, etc
- a person's home, esp a flat
- Also called: penny-gaff a cheap or low-class place of entertainment, esp a cheap theatre or music hall in Victorian England
Word Origin and History for stand the gaff
"iron hook," c.1300, gaffe, from Old French gaffe "boat hook" (see gaffe). Specifically of the hook on a fishing spear from 1650s.
"loud, rude talk," 1825, from Scottish dialect, perhaps a survival of Old English gafspræc "blasphemous or ribald speech," or from gaff (n.1), and cf. gaffe.
"cheap music hall or theater; place of amusement for the lowest classes," 1850s, British slang, earlier "a fair" (1753), of unknown origin.
Idioms and Phrases with stand the gaff
stand the gaff
Take severe criticism or other adversity in stride, as in If you can't stand the gaff, don't try running for office. [Slang; late 1800s]
see stand the gaff.