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[guhv] /gʌv/
noun, Chiefly British Informal.
term of address used to a man, especially by a younger man, boy, employee, or social inferior.
governor (def 6).
Origin of guv
1850-55; by shortening and respelling Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for guv
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Our guv'nor isn't very gay, that's a fact," responded the valet.

    The Count's Millions Emile Gaboriau
  • I wanted to guv it t' th' ole man, thinkin' he'd pay fur it, as he said he would.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • Look here, Critchett: it isn't right to drink in hours, and the guv'nor out and all; but this is an occasion.

    The Golden Butterfly Walter Besant
  • Gawd love you, guv'nor, they'd fight 'ell's blazes, them chaps would!

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • I stood in the road and guv the bag a throw when I see your light over the top of the hill.

    The Banner Boy Scouts George A. Warren
  • And, jerking his head back towards the room behind him, "guv'nor's got it now."

    The Burning Spear John Galsworthy
  • I guv her your message, Jack, and she said nowt, but there she be a crying still.

    Facing Death G. A. Henty
  • "You've got the bulge on me this time, guv'nor," he admitted ruefully.

    The Grell Mystery Frank Froest
  • "I say, guv'nor," interrupted Clarence, who seemed to welcome a distraction just then.

    In Brief Authority F. Anstey
British Dictionary definitions for guv


(Brit) an informal name for governor
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
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Word Origin and History for guv

1890, shortening of guvner, casual British pronunciation of governor as a title of respect.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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