Home » Segments » Gaffle, Meaning “to Snag” or “to Grab”

Gaffle, Meaning “to Snag” or “to Grab”

Play episode

Camden from Juneau, Alaska, uses the term gaffle to mean “snag,” as in to gaffle a Coke from the fridge. In his 1872 work A Dictionary of Etymology (Bookshop|Amazon), philologist Hensleigh Wedgwood notes that in a variety of languages, words like gaff and gaffle describe hook-like instruments used for grabbing. Gaffle shows up in American English around 1900 as a verb meaning “to grasp” or “to seize.” In modern hip-hop, gaffle can mean to “rob,” “steal,” “swindle,” or “be harassed or arrested by the police.” This is part of a complete episode.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show

Good Leather, Well Put Together

Laura in San Antonio, Texas, says her handsome father describes himself as a fine piece of leather, well put together. This phrase is probably a reference to a fine leather shoe and the artistry it takes to put it together. For years, shoe companies...