a herd or school of whales.
Eastern New England, Nautical. a social meeting, visit, or the like, as between whaling vessels at sea.

verb (used without object), gammed, gam·ming.

(of whales) to assemble into a herd or school.
Nautical. (of the officers and crews of two whaling vessels) to visit or converse with one another for social purposes.
Eastern New England. to participate in a gam or social visit.

Origin of gam

1840–50, Americanism; perhaps dialectal variant of game1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gamming

Historical Examples of gamming

  • There is another little item about Gamming which must not be forgotten here.

  • As soon as we came near enough, "gamming" commenced, for all of us were anxious to know how each other had fared.

British Dictionary definitions for gamming




a school of whales
nautical an informal visit between crew members of whalers
NZ a flock of large sea birds

verb gams, gamming or gammed

(intr) (of whales) to form a school
nautical (of members of the crews of whalers) to visit (each other) informally
(tr) US to visit or exchange visits with

Word Origin for gam

C19: perhaps dialect variant of game 1




slang a leg, esp a woman's shapely leg

Word Origin for gam

C18: probably from Old Northern French gambe or Lingua Franca gambe; see jamb
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 gamming



"a leg," 1781, see gams.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper