Sunday, December 14, 2008

Word of the Week Dec 14-20: gaffer

Word of the Week Dec 14-20


Definition according to the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:

gaffer n JOYCE 259. A boy, young fellow, esp one capable of assisting older men at work.

1896 J A Folklore ix, 31 ~ as applied to children only, must have been derived from Ireland.

1937 DEVINE 23 ~ A boy, between ten and fifteen, able to help at the fishery.

1966 SCAMMELL 106 "Tommy Decker's Venture": Three smart young gaffers right enough, I know it for a fact, / Or else they'd never have the nerve to start the like o' that. / And we old codgers wish 'em luck and all the folks around / Will feel right glad if lots o' fish strikes on the handy ground. M 68-24 ~ This was the name given to any young boy who could pick berries fast, could catch fish fast, could split wood fast, who really could work fast.

1975 RUSSELL 1 Must have been almost thirty years ago. I was just a young gaffer then—spending my third or fourth summer in the bow of the banking dory.

1979 Salt Water, Fresh Water 83 The wind had come down and was blowing us hard and we two young gaffers were sayin': 'Let's go in.'

Now, we invite you to RELiVE, REMEMBER and REFRESH iT and/or even REDEFiNE iT!

The main thing is to RELiSH iT.

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The word of the week is brought to you each week by Rattling Books and released each Sunday morning on the Newfoundland and Labrador CBC Radio program Weekend Arts Magazine with host Angela Antle.

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