One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in biblical use) the timber from which Noah's ark was made, from an unidentified tree (Gen. 6:14).
- ‘All his neighbors laughed at him and all that gopher wood and pitch sure cost a lot of money but Noah obeyed.’
- ‘Make thee an ark of gopher wood.’
- ‘With the search still underway twenty-five years later, another explorer reclaimed the mound near Dogubayazit as Noah's Ark, which according to him contained ‘trainloads’ of gopherwood.’
- ‘No mention was made of gopherwood, nor how they expect that this was done with crude hand tools and carpentry.’
- ‘Gopher wood or gopherwood is a term used once in the Bible, for a type of wood whose identity is unknown.’
- ‘The visitors recognized the wood as gopherwood, despite the fact that the wood was ancient and apparently painted, and despite the fact that nobody knows what gopherwood is.’
- ‘It was made of a special wood, called gopher wood.’
- ‘Make yourself an ark of gopherwood, put various compartments in it, and cover it inside and out with pitch.’
- ‘And coming right after creation, one researcher said that gopherwood was most likely of such a fine grain, it was a super wood, almost like stone.’
2Either of two North American trees.
- ‘The gopher wood has a wide range of applications.’
- ‘Although cypress wood is often used in the place of gopherwood the two terms are not equivalent.’
Early 17th century: gopher from Hebrew gōp̱er.
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