- See under gaff1(def 3).
- an iron hook with a handle for landing large fish.
- the spur on a climbing iron, especially as used by telephone linemen.
- Nautical. a spar rising aft from a mast to support the head of a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail (gaff sail).
- a metal spur for a gamecock.
- to hook or land (a fish) with a gaff.
Origin of gaff1
- a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail on a sailing vessel
- 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 gaffsail
"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 gaffsail
see stand the gaff.