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Word of the Day
Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Definitions for gaffe

  1. a blunder; faux pas

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Citations for gaffe
Torii Hunter was in full mea culpa mode Friday, taking responsibility for Wednesday night's gaffe, when he forgot there were only two outs, pulled up between second and third base and was tagged out in a rundown against the New York Mets. Mike Digiovanna, Los Angeles Times
The Mountain View company acknowledged the financial gaffe in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying the unintended notes revealed a projection that advertising revenue will grow to $9.5 billion in 2006, up 58 percent from the previous year. Verne Kopytoff, San Francisco Chronicle
Origin of gaffe
by 1909, from French gaffe "clumsy remark," originally "boat hook," from Old French gaffe, from Old Provencal gaf, probably from Gothic gafa "hook," but this origin is obscure. It may derive from British slang gaff "to cheat, trick" (1893) or gaff "criticism" (1896), from Scottish dialect sense of "loud, rude talk," which ultimately may be from Old English gaf-spr¾c "blasphemous or ribald speech."
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