One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A rick or stack of corn, straw, etc., in a barn. Also: the quantity of corn, straw, etc., stacked up and stored in one bay or division of a barn. Compare "hay-goaf", "mow". English regional (chiefly East Anglian) in later use. Now rare.
2English regional (East Anglian). "to ride the goaf": to ride a horse on top of a goaf in order to compress it and make it more compact. Now chiefly historical.
nounEnglish Regional, Northern
An empty space from which coal has been extracted in a longwall mine, sometimes filled with waste material.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Promptorium Parvulorum. From early Scandinavian (compare Old Icelandic gólf floor, bay in a building, Old Swedish golf floor (Swedish golv floor, bay in a building), Old Danish gulv floor, bay in a building (Danish gulv floor, (regional) room, bay of a barn, barn)), further etymology uncertain<br>early 19th century; earliest use found in The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia. Origin unknown.
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