Word of the Day Archive
Friday December 24, 2010
1. To bargain; haggle.
1. Bargaining; haggling.
1. To bandy words; chatter.
'Ours was a place where profit-seeking Phoenician master mariners would come to chaffer the ten thousand gewgaws in their ships: also my father had a Phoenician woman among his bond-maids.
-- Homer, The Odyssey
Joy came to bear to it the offering of its thanksgiving and to vow sixpenny bits to the Lord, prosperity came in a high hat to chaffer for the holy privileges, and grief came with rent garments to lament the beloved dead and glorify the name of the Eternal.
-- Israel Zangwill, Children of the Ghetto: a study of a peculiar people
Chaffer is an alteration of the Middle English chapfare, "a trading journey." The archaic chap maintains a modern presence in the common term related to shopping, cheap.