Main definitions of gaff in English

: gaff1gaff2gaff3gaff4

gaff1

noun

  • 1A stick with a hook or barbed spear, for landing large fish.

    • ‘Then the policemen find blood on a fishing gaff.’
    • ‘There is a shout for Nigel and he too leans over and pins the fish to the boat with the bigger gaff through the gills.’
    • ‘After stowing the gaff, the skipper picked up the anglers trace and showed it to him.’
    • ‘The five-part sculpture tells a story from the folk history of Kiltimagh and illustrates the drama of the catching of salmon by the illegal gaff and spear on winter nights in the early 1900s.’
    • ‘This fish we fight for about 15 minutes, but we are using a small diameter wind-on and cannot get the fish within range of the gaff even though we have most of the leader on the reel.’
    • ‘A gaff is also good for beating off wayward locals, snakes, centipedes, scorpions, dogs etc.’
    • ‘The crewman will use gaffs, lightly placed in the wing edges where it does no harm, to lift the fish in.’
    • ‘Before commercialization, when lobsters were fished as a subsistence item, or for sale or barter in small local markets, they were typically fished by hand or with gaffs and spears.’
    • ‘There are still skippers and anglers that use gaffs on rays.’
    • ‘And he's waiting there with the gaff all ready y'know?’
    • ‘Captain Dang successfully hooked the gaff deep into its tail and managed to get the tail up to level of the deck.’
    • ‘I noticed the hook of the flying gaff still unused in the corner, and knew that if he plunged that 10 in spike into her, the lady of the sea was dead.’
    • ‘But if the tubing is notched and a short length pushed onto the metal of the gaff, the other length of tubing can be pushed onto the point, yet can be removed and easily swivelled out of the way when the gaff is used in anger.’
    • ‘However, the gaff straightened due to the weight of the fish, and it took a second attempt before the fish was secured and stringered.’
    • ‘I have a boat hook and gaff (rarely used) positioned on snap hooks that are screwed in to the glassed-in gunnel supports on the inside of the left hand gunnel.’
    • ‘Well, foreign fishers sitting out on the next wave with their gaffs in their hands must be saying: ‘You guys are an absolute joke.’’
    • ‘Angry anglers can stop sharpening their gaffs in anticipation of a major battle on the Lakes of Killarney.’
    • ‘So, naturally, if you slot a gaff through a fish it would feel something.’
    • ‘One monster was hooked from Neptune, it was a huge fish of approx 1000 lb; they had the gaff in its mouth, but it went ballistic and got off.’
    • ‘A quick, well-aimed move with the gaff, and 54 inches of hammered chrome and green came over the side.’
  • 2Sailing
    A spar to which the head of a fore-and-aft sail is bent.

    in combination ‘a gaff-rigged cutter’
    • ‘Vessels built of ferrocement may be accepted if they have a gaff or traditional schooner rig.’
    spar, boom, yard, foremast, mainmast, topmast, mizzenmast, mizzen, royal mast
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • Seize or impale with a gaff.

    ‘the whales are gaffed, speared, or knifed to death’
    • ‘Adams fought the fish for over half an hour before he finally reeled in and gaffed the exhausted bass.’
    • ‘Therefore, I favour such deceptive tactics as dragging a small, weighted hook wrapped in colourful wool across the sandy bottom and gaffing the unsuspecting honeymooners mid-coitus.’
    • ‘I know of one jewfish caught that was 18 kg and another angler had two quite nice Spanish mackerel to the wall but was unable to gaff them.’
    • ‘At the boats side, those huge fins beat the water to a foam, before being gaffed aboard by the boats regular hand, Patrick.’
    • ‘With the line angling downwards within 30 seconds I called it for a yellowfin or bigeye and told Richard to get his gloves out with the gaff and standby to gaff his first blue-water fish - a far cry from blue sharks!’
    • ‘I also did a fair amount of gaffing for the others - all on a boat where we were either pointing up at the skies or at the bottom of the trough of a giant wave or rolling from side to side.’
    • ‘‘It took me about 25 minutes to bring it to the boat and Matt tried to gaff it but missed,’ she says.’
    • ‘Julie and her dad would gaff them and bring them aboard; I did the cleaning and icing.’
    • ‘To gaff a trap, you need to come at it against the tide so you can create some slack on the line.’
    • ‘By the men's own description, the shark suffered horribly, struggling for hours, being gaffed again and again, until he was finally dragged on board, thrashing for air.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, it took much longer to land, even though at one stage early in the fight we got it close enough to the boat to gaff.’
    • ‘Everyone kept back and held their breath as we prepared to gaff the big fish.’
    • ‘Branson expertly reels in one close to 100 lb. Charlie had gaffed the smaller fish but JJ has to harpoon this one before he can safely bring it onto the boat.’
    • ‘There is absolutely no need to ever gaff a tope, it's an appalling thing to even consider.’
    • ‘To save time, the skipper eventually backed up to the fish, which was gaffed aboard in a flurry of foam.’
    • ‘Coastguard spokesman Tony Wood said ‘The angler had hooked a big conger eel and was trying to gaff it when he was hit by the wave and swept away.’’
    • ‘Nobody gaffs and puts back pike into Lough Mask so it must have managed to escape from a bungled gaffing attempt.’
    • ‘With a combination of moving back up the beach and leaning over almost 180 degrees backwards to put pressure on the rod, we managed to get it into the surf, whereupon our excellent guide leaped in and gaffed it.’
    • ‘There is no need to gaff tope, even from the rock marks.’
    • ‘We saw a number of bears that trip, one skidding down the river bank on his rump to try for sockeye which we'd seen fishermen dip-netting and gaffing above the narrow chasms at Moricetown.’

Origin

Middle English: from Provençal gaf ‘hook’; related to gaffe.

Pronunciation

gaff

/ɡaf/

Main definitions of gaff in English

: gaff1gaff2gaff3gaff4

gaff2

noun

mass nounUS
informal
  • Rough treatment or criticism.

    ‘if wages increase, perhaps we can stand the gaff’
    • ‘But there was a lanky business major and a tough dude who competed in rodeos on weekends as well, and didn't take gaff from anyone, including the GDA.’

Origin

Early 19th century (in the senses ‘outcry; nonsense’ and in the phrase blow the gaff ‘let out a secret’): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

gaff

/ɡaf/

Main definitions of gaff in English

: gaff1gaff2gaff3gaff4

gaff3

noun

in phrase blow the gaff
British
informal
  • Reveal a plot or secret.

    ‘he was about to blow the gaff on the conspiracy’
    • ‘The misconceived pre-publicity for the series blew the gaff on this one, so unlike the main supporting characters, we knew all along that she wasn't out of her mind, just out of her body.’
    • ‘Craftsman typically form Guilds and the guild members tend to keep their common craft as a well-guarded secret among themselves: not blowing the gaff is one of their rules of professional conduct.’
    • ‘In an effort to blow the gaff on this mystique we thought we would present to you one and discuss it in detail.’
    • ‘The rules were, to begin with, difficult to master, since, as a journalist, one's entire instinct was to blow the gaff.’
    • ‘We are talking about not only an inadvertent or incorrect disclosure, but blowing the gaff on the investigation.’
    • ‘Well… we could hardly blow the gaff on a fairytale, could we?’
    • ‘The son has to decide whether blowing the gaff will do more harm than trying to restore the fortunes by continued dishonesty.’
    • ‘As an antiques dealer myself, but not in the jewellery field, I'm in an ideal position to blow the gaff on this rather naive theory.’
    • ‘But most of all, he blows the gaff on reviewers and productions alike, with his own inimitable turn of phrase.’
    • ‘To sugar the pill they sent me to review a very good book, which appeared recently, The Spanish Cockpit, which blows the gaff pretty well on what has been happening.’
    divulge, disclose, tell, let out, let slip, let drop, let fall, give away, give the game away, give the show away, blurt, blurt out, babble, give out, release, leak, betray, open up, unveil, bring out into the open
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 19th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

gaff

/ɡaf/

Main definitions of gaff in English

: gaff1gaff2gaff3gaff4

gaff4

noun

British
informal
  • A house, flat, or other building, especially as being a person's home.

    ‘Gav's new gaff is in McDonald Road’
    • ‘This time next week, we'll be standing in the new gaff wondering where we're going to put everything, and waiting for the bed to be delivered.’
    • ‘So we whizzed up to Hertfordshire to get the boxes, then picked up more from the old gaff, and then dashed over to run up and down the stairs a few hundred times.’
    • ‘Track 2 is a guaranteed floor filler round our gaff.’
    • ‘I'd love to waft around his gaff as a beautiful apparition, red hair flowing in the breeze, reminding him of what he's been missing.’
    • ‘Everyone knows that if you have a mysterious ghoulie or ghostie in your gaff, all you have to do is get yourself a short old woman with a helium voice, a bucket of tennis balls and a very long piece of string.’
    • ‘Twelve months on and a neighbouring gaff has just come on the market - for €1.6m.’
    • ‘I may have liked God when I was three, as I testified on the study wall, but He certainly wouldn't be very fond of me when He found out what I'd done to His gaff in Acton.’
    • ‘He was well cool, and took us back, through the soviet style streets back to his gaff.’
    • ‘But now, this means there are builders all over the front of my gaff.’
    • ‘I could be doing the sun coffee time cross word, cutting my toenails, making balls out of elastic bands the postman drops outside my gaff everyday.’
    • ‘Which popular blogger invited me round to his gaff last night?’
    • ‘A man with a ladder has been round my gaff for the past three days.’
    • ‘One's a millionaire, one has done really well and lives in Ireland, one of them has a big gaff in the New Town.’
    • ‘Gilz came back to my gaff for his supper last night.’
    • ‘Today the man who should not be named turned up at my gaff throwing stones at my window.’
    • ‘It is a luxurious gaff with seven reception rooms and Prince Michael is getting away with one of the best housing benefit scams in the land.’
    • ‘Back in the car, K and I set off for London, where we will be spending the rest of the day with British Museum and Royal Academy at their gaff in Brixton.’
    • ‘With one daughter already and another baby on the way, she is desperate for a bigger gaff in which to raise their family.’
    • ‘Yesterday afternoon three girls were roaming the centre lane of the main road outside my gaff.’
    home, house, flat, apartment, a roof over one's head
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 18th century (in sense ‘a fair’): of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

gaff

/ɡaf/