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gaff 1 (găf)
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n.
1. A large iron hook attached to a pole or handle and used to land large fish.
2. Nautical A spar attached to a mast and used to extend the upper edge of a fore-and-aft sail.
3.
a. A sharp metal spur or spike fastened to the leg of a gamecock.
b. A climbing hook used by telephone and electric line workers.
4. Slang A trick or gimmick, especially one used in a swindle or to rig a game.
5. A tight-fitting undergarment designed to secure the male genitals between the legs and create the appearance of a smooth crotch.
6. Slang Harshness of treatment; abuse.
tr.v. gaffed, gaf·fing, gaffs
1. To hook or land (a fish) using a gaff.
2. To equip (a gamecock) with a gaff.
3. Slang
a. To take in or defraud; swindle.
b. To rig or fix in order to cheat: knew that the carnival games had been gaffed.

[Middle English gaffe, from Old French, from Old Provençal gaf, from gafar, to seize, of Germanic origin; see kap- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. Noun, senses 4 and 5, and verb, senses 3a and 3b, probably from the spurred, ink-filled rings used by card sharpers to secretly mark cards.]
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gaff1

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
gaff 2 (găf)
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n.
Chiefly British
1. A public place of entertainment, especially a cheap or disreputable music hall or theater.
2. Slang A house, building, or apartment, especially where one resides.

[Origin unknown.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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