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
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for gafferelder
Examples from the Web for gaffer
Historical Examples of gaffer
"If your cask is leer, I warrant your purse is full, gaffer," shouted Hordle John.
What did “she” mean by talking of “Gaffer,” in that strange way?
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.
British Dictionary definitions for gaffer
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
Word Origin for gaffer
C16: alteration of godfather
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for gaffer
1580s, "elderly rustic," apparently a contraction of godfather (cf. gammer); originally "old man," it was applied from 1841 to foremen and supervisors, which sense carried over 20c. to "electrician in charge of lighting on a film set."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper