gaff sail

gaff sail

noun Nautical.
See under gaff1 ( def 3 ).
Also called gaff-headed sail [gaf-hed-id] . Unabridged


1 [gaf]
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.
verb (used with object)
to hook or land (a fish) with a gaff.

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French gaffe, gaff < Provençal gaf hook, gaff, noun derivative of gafar to seize (compare Medieval Latin gaffare), probably < Germanic (Visigothic) *gaff-, perhaps derivative from base of Gothic giban give Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gaff1 (ɡæf)
1.  angling a stiff pole with a stout prong or hook attached for landing large fish
2.  nautical a boom hoisted aft of a mast to support a gaffsail
3.  a metal spur fixed to the leg of a gamecock
4.  angling to hook or land (a fish) with a gaff
5.  slang to cheat; hoax
[C13: from French gaffe, from Provençal gaf boathook]

gaff2 (ɡæf)
1.  slang foolish talk; nonsense
2.  slang (Brit) blow the gaff to divulge a secret
3.  slang chiefly (US), (Canadian) stand the gaff to endure ridicule, difficulties, etc
[C19: of unknown origin]

gaff3 (ɡæf)
1.  a person's home, esp a flat
2.  Also called: penny-gaff a cheap or low-class place of entertainment, esp a cheap theatre or music hall in Victorian England
[C18: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"iron hook," 1725, gaffe, from Fr. 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 O.E. gafspraec "blasphemous or ribald speech," or from gaff (1), and cf. gaffe.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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