gopher

1
[ goh-fer ]
/ ˈgoʊ fər /

noun

verb (used without object)

Mining.
  1. to mine unsystematically.
  2. to enlarge a hole, as in loose soil, with successively larger blasts.

Nearby words

  1. goossens,
  2. goosy,
  3. goozle,
  4. gop,
  5. gopak,
  6. gopher ball,
  7. gopher plant,
  8. gopher snake,
  9. gopher state,
  10. gopher tortoise

Origin of gopher

1
1785–95; earlier megopher, magopher gopher tortoise; of obscure origin; spelling copies gopher wood

gopher

2
[ goh-fer ]
/ ˈgoʊ fər /

noun Slang.

Origin of gopher

2
1925–30; respelling of gofer by association with gopher1

gofer

or go-fer, go·pher

[ goh-fer ]
/ ˈgoʊ fər /

noun Slang.

an employee whose chief duty is running errands.

Origin of gofer

1965–70; respelling of go for (verb phrase), with -er representing both vowel reduction in for and -er1

Can be confusedgofer gopher

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gopher


British Dictionary definitions for gopher

gopher

/ (ˈɡəʊfə) /

noun

Also called: pocket gopher any burrowing rodent of the family Geomyidae, of North and Central America, having a thickset body, short legs, and cheek pouches
another name for ground squirrel
any burrowing tortoise of the genus Gopherus, of SE North America
gopher snake another name for bull snake

Word Origin for gopher

C19: shortened from earlier megopher or magopher, of obscure origin

gofer

/ (ˈɡəʊfə) /

noun

slang, mainly US and Canadian an employee or assistant whose duties include menial tasks such as running errands

Word Origin for gofer

C20: originally US: alteration of go for

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 gopher
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper