• synonyms


noun British Archaic.
  1. an old woman.
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Origin of gammer

1565–75; contraction of godmother; cf. gaffer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gammer

Historical Examples

  • The present edition of "Gammer Gurton's Needle" is printed from that of 1575.

    A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 3


  • Come to the justice of the peace, Gammer Gurton, and I forgive you!

  • "Gammer Gurton's Garland" was again printed, with additions, 1809, in 8vo.

  • Even Warton fondly lingered in an apology for the grossness of the “Gammer.”

  • Finally it is found sticking in the breech of Gammer Gurton's man Hodge.

    Gammer Gurton's Needle

    Mr. S. Mr. of Art

British Dictionary definitions for gammer


  1. rare, mainly British a dialect word for an old woman: now chiefly humorous or contemptuousCompare gaffer (def. 1)
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Word Origin

C16: probably alteration of godmother or grandmother
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 gammer


"old woman," 1570s, contraction of grandmother (cf. gaffer).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper