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Gaff   /gæf/   Listen
Gaff

noun
1.
A sharp metal spike or spur that is fastened to the leg of a gamecock.
2.
A spar rising aft from a mast to support the head of a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail.
3.
An iron hook with a handle; used for landing large fish.



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"Gaff" Quotes from Famous Books



... pine boards, and every available foot of space was occupied with it. The deck-house was all but hidden. The mainmast dragged by a tangle of ropes aft of the starboard beam and was acting as a sort of sea-anchor. For the rest, her lumber-piled deck was swept clean save for a splintered gaff that had become wedged in the boards. Her hull had been painted black, but not very recently, and a dingy white streak ...
— The Adventure Club Afloat • Ralph Henry Barbour

... the storm. This hunting is the very incarnation of the storm spirit itself, for the wilder the gale, the more sea-otter have come ashore; the less likely they will be to see or hear or smell the hunter. Gaff or paddle in hand, the Aleut leaps from rock to rock, or dashes among the tumbling beds of tossed kelp. A quick blow of the bludgeon; the otter never knows how death came. This is the club hunt. But where the shore is honeycombed with caves and ...
— Vikings of the Pacific - The Adventures of the Explorers who Came from the West, Eastward • Agnes C. Laut

... beyond the smallest doubt. As it was she caught it, as she rounded the cape, as close in as she could go, the frigate letting slip at her the whole of her starboard broadside, which cut away the schooner's gaff, jib-stay, and main-topmast, besides killing, a Kannaka, who was in the main-cross-trees at the time. This last occurrence turned out to be fortunate, in the main, however, since it induced all the Kannakas to believe that the strangers were their enemies, in particular; else why ...
— The Crater • James Fenimore Cooper

... manouvres and the result that followed be explained? Suddenly the mizzen royal disappeared, followed by the top-gallant sail, topsail, and cross-jack courses, seeming to melt away under the eye like a misty veil, while, almost in a moment of time, there appeared a spanker, gaff topsail and gaff top-gallantsail in their place, while the vessel still held ...
— The Sea-Witch - or, The African Quadroon A Story of the Slave Coast • Maturin Murray

... William Bludger now changed his tone; "Yah, you lily-livered Bible-reader," he exclaimed, "what are you going about in that toggery for: copying Mr. Toole in Paw Claudian? You call yourself a missionary? Jove, you're more like a blooming play hactor in a penny gaff! Easy, then, my hearties," he added, seeing that the fishermen were approaching him again, with ropes in their hands. "Avast! ...
— In the Wrong Paradise • Andrew Lang

... and all got in readiness for putting to sea, and nothing was now wanting but Barny's orders to haul up the gaff and shake out the jib of ...
— Stories of Comedy • Various

... Bunker's aid, the mast was soon fixed so that it stood straight up in front of the wagon, being nailed fast and braced. Then they found some pieces of old bags for sails, and these were sewed together and made fast to the mast. There was a gaff, which is the little slanting stick at the top of a sail, and a boom, which is the big stick at the bottom. Only the whole sail, gaff, boom and all, was ...
— Six Little Bunkers at Uncle Fred's • Laura Lee Hope

... you'll believe me, squire, he never opened his mouth, but swum head and shoulders out of the water. At first, I thought he had jumped overboard; but afterwards, I made up my mind that he was knocked over by the leach of the foresail. I got hold of the gaff-topsail yard and run it under his arms, and threw a rope over him, and sung out 'Hold on, Greenleaf! hold on, and we'll save you yet.' But he took no notice of me, and steered right away from the vessel. I then called to Captain Sawyer that we would lower the ...
— Godey's Lady's Book, Vol. 42, January, 1851 • Various

... orders now uttered find no place in any known code, and in a moment the Bull Pup becomes a scene of unwonted excitement. The jib, mainsail, and gaff topsail are hauled up to their very tautest; finally, the cable is slipped, and then old Sandy for the first time looks around. The boys fail to suppress a loud guffaw, and forthwith dodge the flying ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, October 1885 • Various

... the captain, who had gone ashore; and after he came back, to take our spells at an anchor-watch till daylight, when we were to trip, and be off to the Dogger. The weather was near a dead calm, and warm for the time of year. The Lively Nan was lying with her gaff hoisted half-way and the peak settled down, so that we mightn't lose any time in setting the sail in the morning; and Lawrence and I were lying in the fo'castle, with our pipes in our mouths, watching the shore, to see if the captain was coming off, and seeing the sun go down over ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 426 - Volume 17, New Series, February 28, 1852 • Various

... rising higher and darker over the horizon in the same direction, first changed its abrupt edge atop for a diffused and broken line, and then spread itself over the central heavens. The calm was evidently not to be a calm long; and the minister issued orders that the gaff-topsail should be taken down, and the storm-jib bent; and that we should lower our topmast, and have all tight and ready for a smart gale ahead. At half past ten, however, the Betsey was still pitching to the swell, with not a breath of wind to act on the diminished canvas, and with ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... as there is in the world—that little man: the essence of Cockney wit; and he does not know how good he is. He thinks that she is much better than he can ever hope to be, and she thinks so, too; but if it were not for him, MacDermott, she wouldn't get thirty shillings a week in a penny gaff!" ...
— The Foolish Lovers • St. John G. Ervine

... would bob up, or a bubble show where a swimmer was moving below the surface. The kayaks would narrow their surrounding circle. Presently a head would appear. The hunter nearest would deal the death-stroke with his steel gaff, and the quarry would be drawn in. But it was in the storm hunt over the kelp-beds that the wildest work went on. Through the fiercest storm scudded bidarkies and kayaks, meeting the herds of sea-otter as they ...
— Pioneers of the Pacific Coast - A Chronicle of Sea Rovers and Fur Hunters • Agnes C. Laut

... what we took from that scented swine, no wonder he's shooting to kill. It's God's judgment on me for a fool—a fool that believed in peace and policemen. Limping Dick on a gaff like this ...
— Ambrotox and Limping Dick • Oliver Fleming

... should be a part of every fishing outfit. More fish are lost just as they are about to be lifted from the water than at any other time. A gaff is used for this same purpose with fish too large to go into a landing net. A gaff is a large hook without a barb fastened into a short pole. If you have no net or gaff and have succeeded in bringing a large fish up alongside ...
— Outdoor Sports and Games • Claude H. Miller

... bit of a pennant, about a foot and a half long, fluttering from the tip-top of one of the masts; but the flag, the ensign of the ship (which never was struck, thank God), is under water, so as to be quite invisible, being attached to the gaff, I think they call it, of the mizzen-mast; and though this bald description makes nothing of it, I never saw anything so gloriously forlorn as those three masts. I did not think it was in me to be so moved by any spectacle of the kind. Bodies still occasionally float up from it. ...
— Yesterdays with Authors • James T. Fields

... bandaged. There was no sail now on the ship but the spanker and the close-reefed main-topsail, which still held good. But this was too much after-sail, and order was given to furl the spanker. The brails were hauled up, and all the light hands in the starboard watch sent out on the gaff to pass the gaskets; but they could do nothing with it. The second mate swore at them for a parcel of "sogers," and sent up a couple of the best men; but they could do no better, and the gaff was lowered down. All hands were now employed in setting up the lee rigging, ...
— Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern — Volume 11 • Various

... punts had their sides curved fore and aft in plan and usually had curved ends in profile. The rigs on scows varied with the size of the boat. A small scow might have a one-mast or two-mast spritsail rig, or might be gaff rigged; a large scow might be sloop rigged or schooner rigged. Flatiron skiffs were sharp-bowed, usually with square, raked transom stern, and their rigs varied according to their size and to suit the ...
— The Migrations of an American Boat Type • Howard I. Chapelle

... doubt about it. The respectable and greatly-trusted Sam was letting off a series of wild howls which would have done credit to a penny-gaff Zulu, and was evidently very much out of temper ...
— Many Cargoes • W.W. Jacobs

... swelling the sail, the fluttering of the gay little flag at the gaff, the musical rippling of water under the counter, and the spirited motion of the boat combined, with the bland air and pleasant sunshine, to inspire the party with much vivacity. They had not been many minutes afloat before the guitar-case was opened, and ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 5 • Various

... will hold the rod," Woolfolk directed his companion, "I'll gaff him." She took the rod while he bent over the wharf's side. The fish, on the surface of the water, half turned; and, striking the gaff through a gill, Woolfolk swung him up on ...
— Wild Oranges • Joseph Hergesheimer

... might have been heard in the boat. At the next instant, an eight-oared barge moved swiftly out from under the cliff, and glided steadily on towards a ship, that had one lantern suspended from the end of her gaff, another in her mizzen-top, and the small night-flag of a rear-admiral, fluttering at her mizzen-royal-mast-head. The cutter lay nearest to the landing, and, as the barge approached her, the ladies heard the loud hail of "boat-ahoy!" The answer was also audible; though given in the mild gentleman-like ...
— The Two Admirals • J. Fenimore Cooper

... Saxtorph, were scraping the poop rail. The fifth sailor, rifle in hand, was standing guard by the water-tank just for'ard of the mainmast. I was for'ard, putting in the finishing licks on a new jaw for the fore-gaff. I was just reaching for my pipe where I had laid it down, when I heard a shot from shore. I straightened up to look. Something struck me on the back of the head, partially stunning me and knocking me to ...
— South Sea Tales • Jack London

... sir, I doot na ye're willin' But I canna permit ye, For I'm thinkin' that yon kind o' killin' Wad hardly befit ye. And some work is deefficult hushin', There'd be havers and chaff: 'Twull be best, sir, for you to be fushin' And me wi' the gaff. ...
— Poems: New and Old • Henry Newbolt

... He waved his hand. "There she is—the Golden Bough. All that is left of the finest ship that ever smashed a record with the American flag at her gaff. She's a coal hulk now, but once she was the finest vessel ...
— The Blood Ship • Norman Springer

... was fast to the gaff, then through a single block on the mast and one on the gaff, and again one aloft. The throat halyard was fast to the mast, and through a block on the throat, and then aloft. Both these halyards came down on the starboard side, and to separate cleats, but I found it generally more ready ...
— The Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy" • John MacGregor

... forecastle batteries; or, in other words, that she was a frigate. As she had opened the town of Porto Ferrajo several minutes before she was herself seen from the Feu Follet, an ensign was hanging from the end of her gaff, though there was not sufficient air to open its folds, in a way to let the national character of ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... of his three lads, he would have tried by a sudden turn to sink the accursed boat which kept alongside of him the whole time as if to mock him; he now understood its evil errand only too well. If the Kvejtepig[9] could reach the Draug before, a knife or a gaff might surely do the same thing now, and he felt that he would gladly have given his life for one good grip of the being who had so mercilessly torn from him his dearest in this world and would fain have ...
— Weird Tales from Northern Seas • Jonas Lie

... sweep up every breath of wind between the sea and the horizon. Then only direct your fore lights to her trim; every rope just where it should be, and not a line too much; and when she fills well with a stiff breeze, not a wrinkle in all her canvas from the gib to the gaff topsail. Then observe how she dips in the bows, and what a breadth she 151has; why she's fit for any seas; and if the Arrow ever shoots past her, I'll forfeit every shot in my lockers." "Avast there! master Horace," said our master ...
— The English Spy • Bernard Blackmantle

... The community, once so simple and homogeneous, is now divided into two classes, one of which looks down on the other. More cottages are built, with trim lawns and private lawn-tennis grounds, with "shandy-gaff" and "tennis-cup" concealed on tables in tents. Then the dog-cart with the groom in buckskin and boots, the Irish red setter, the saddle-horse with the banged tail, the phaeton with the two ponies, the young men in knickerbockers carrying imported racquets, the ...
— Reflections and Comments 1865-1895 • Edwin Lawrence Godkin

... lad, we're safe now. Poor thing, I believe he's fainted." And raising me in his arms he laid me on the folds of the gaff-top-sail, which lay upon the deck near the tiller. "Here, take a drop o' this, it'll do you good, my boy," he added, in a voice of tenderness which I had never heard him use before, while he held a brandy- flask to ...
— The Coral Island - A Tale Of The Pacific Ocean • R. M. Ballantyne

... lost the little speed she had had, and it was double drudgery regaining the forgotten lore. But she stood the gaff and found herself on the dizzy height of graduation from a lowly business school. She had traveled a long way from the snobbery of her ...
— The Cup of Fury - A Novel of Cities and Shipyards • Rupert Hughes

... shearwater close above our heads suddenly stopped the yarn, and raised a titter among the men, by his ridiculously articulate, and not over-complimentary, cry; and then a fox's bark from the cliffs came wild and shrill, although so faint and distant; or the lazy gaff gave a sad uneasy creak; and then a soft warm air, laden with heather honey, and fragrant odours of sedge, and birch, and oak, came sighing from the land; while all around us was the dense blank of the night, except where now and then some lonely ...
— Prose Idylls • Charles Kingsley

... the deck of the "Petite Jeanne"; how the runner fitted to the mast; whether the halliards were likely to run sweetly through the sheaves or were knotted and would jamb. He knew the weight of the gaff and the great tan-soddened sail to a nicety. Some dark night, he had thought, on the Dogger, he would slip overboard and take his chance. He had never looked for thick weather at this time of year off the Banks, so near home, within ...
— The Last Hope • Henry Seton Merriman

... greatly adding to their speed in light winds. One peculiarity of the bawleys is that, when at anchor, the mainsail, instead of being stowed with its spars parallel to the deck, is made up on its gaff, which is then hoisted with the throat seven or eight feet up the mast, while the peak ...
— A Chapter of Adventures • G. A. Henty

... a lot about the way a man looks at his job. 'If I take up the cards I can't be a quitter,' he said. 'It would hurt my record. And my record is the equivalent of credit and capital. I can't afford to have any weak spots in it. I'll take the gaff rather than have it said about me that I've lain down on a job. I'm going on with ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1920 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... pypers praisin' 'im for wot 'e done at Gueldersdorp, an' Government tippin' 'im the 'Ow Do? an' thank you kindly, Mister!—an'——" W. Keyse could only suppose that Mrs. Keyse was playing a bit of gaff on hers truly—"and him with a wife, too! Married an' 'appy, an' goin' to be 'appier yet!" He pointed to the little red snub nose peeping between the folds of the flannel. "When a little nipper like ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... companion one day. "Thought he was game, anyhow, but he's a yellow quitter. Acts as though we were to blame for his blindness and for what's waiting for him at the end of the journey. I like a man to stand the gaff when it's prodding him." ...
— Man Size • William MacLeod Raine

... with the Champion, he had made larger sails for his boat, and added a flying-jib and a gaff-topsail, and he found that ...
— Frank, the Young Naturalist • Harry Castlemon

... foolish Man, meting things low and high By self, that accidental quantity! With this conceit, Philosophy stalks frail As peacock staggering underneath his tail. Who judge of Plays from their own penny gaff, At God's great theatre will hiss and laugh; For what's a Saint to them Brought up in modern virtues brummagem? With garments grimed and lamps gone all to snuff, And counting others for like Virgins queer, To list ...
— The Unknown Eros • Coventry Patmore

... you're talking to. Corny Kelleher he has Harvey Duff in his eye. Like that Peter or Denis or James Carey that blew the gaff on the invincibles. Member of the corporation too. Egging raw youths on to get in the know all the time drawing secret service pay from the castle. Drop him like a hot potato. Why those plainclothes men are always ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... catch it; the drought that leaves the salmon- stream dry, the floods that fill it with turbid, impossible waters! Alas for the knot that breaks, and for the iron that bends; for the lost landing-net, and the gillie with the gaff that scrapes the fish! Izaak believed that fish could hear; if they can, their vocabulary must be full of strange oaths, for all anglers are not patient men. A malison on the trout that 'bulge' and 'tail,' on the salmon that 'jiggers,' or sulks, or lightly gambols over and under the line. These ...
— Andrew Lang's Introduction to The Compleat Angler • Andrew Lang

... towards the sea, and sailed down the length of the pool in the open water without attempting any more plunges. As his strength failed, he turned heavily on his back, and allowed himself to be drawn to the shore. The gaff [Footnote: Gaff: a large hook fixed on the end of a pole or handle.] was in his side and he was ours. He was larger than we had guessed him. Clean run he would have weighed twenty-five pounds. The fresh water had reduced him to twenty-two, ...
— Short Stories and Selections for Use in the Secondary Schools • Emilie Kip Baker

... true. The detective seemed crushed with disappointment. Leverage, seated in the corner of the room, chewing savagely on a big black cigar—was sorry for his friend: sorry—yet proud of the way he was standing the gaff of his chagrin. Carroll again spoke to ...
— Midnight • Octavus Roy Cohen

... your gaff! Is that the way to take the ground? Ease helm, Rosalie. Smartly, smartly. Have a care, you lubber there. Fenders out! So, so. Now stand by, all! There are two smart lads among you, and no more. All the ...
— Springhaven - A Tale of the Great War • R. D. Blackmore

... of life where its most all luck and I figure the army would be a whole lot better off if all the officers and gens. had of played baseball in the big leagues and learned to think quick, but of course they ain't everybody that have got the ability to play baseball and stand the gaff but the man that has got the ability and been through the ropes is just that much ahead of the rest of them and its to bad that most of our gens. is so old that they couldn't of knew much about baseball since it become a test of ...
— The Real Dope • Ring Lardner

... needed in each boat for this kind of fishing was a good gun and a gaff hook with a long handle. The boys decided to go to Jack River, which takes its name from the number of jack fish that used to swarm in its waters. Not many hours' paddling brought them to their destination, and ...
— Three Boys in the Wild North Land • Egerton Ryerson Young

... "perhaps these things are mere details. However, I would be under deep obligations to you if you'd change 'em from barkentine to schooner rig, and lower away this gaff-topsail which now sticks up under my chin, so that I can luff and come up in the wind without capsizing. And say, what is that ...
— Europe Revised • Irvin S. Cobb

... fluttered up to the main gaff of the schooner; a boat dropped into the water. It all went breathlessly—I hadn't time to think. I saw old Cowper run to the side and aim his pistol overboard; there was an ineffectual click; he made a gesture of disgust, ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... on the ice without a gaff. A gaff is a lithe, ironshod pole, eight or ten feet in length. Doctor Rolfe was as cunning and sure with a gaff as any old hand of the sealing fleet. He employed it now to advantage. It was a vaulting pole. He walked less than he leaped. This was no ...
— Harbor Tales Down North - With an Appreciation by Wilfred T. Grenfell, M.D. • Norman Duncan

... cleared us another Spanish three-decker drifted nearly on board of us. We received her fire, which shot away the gaff. We returned her salute with interest, and her foremast went about four feet above her deck. We cheered and gave her another broadside, and down came her colours. We manned the jolly boat—the only boat that we thought would float—to take possession ...
— A Sailor of King George • Frederick Hoffman

... over the chowder-pot with his thumb. Can you believe it, Ridgeway—in this very cabin here?" Then he went on with a suggestion of haste, as though he had somehow made a slip. "Well, at any rate, the disease seems to be catching. Next day it's Bach, the second seaman, who begins to feel the gaff. Listen: ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery, Vol. 1 (of 4) - Ghost Stories • Various

... selfish, cowardly." She fancied she heard Mormon Joe saying it, and herself expressing her disbelief in the statement. "There are few persons strong enough to stand the gaff of public opinion." She ...
— The Fighting Shepherdess • Caroline Lockhart

... all turncoats as deadly enemies: if they have blown on Tony, Dick, or Harry, it matters not which pounce on them. When we have done the job for four or five in the court, the others will wag their tongues twice before they blow the gaff!" ...
— Mysteries of Paris, V3 • Eugene Sue

... then high it skied, and then the wind took it and slit the sail from boom to gaff and off to leeward went ...
— Sonnie-Boy's People • James B. Connolly

... with Blair at the little table in the sunny corner. Instead, she ordered some coffee and toast at Jim's Waffle Shop in the village and was hard at work sketching on the wharf before eight o'clock. She had suddenly remembered a promise to sketch Capt. Warren's dog holding the gaff, a feat of which both Pal and his master were justifiably proud. Indeed, so long had the arrangement been made and so entirely had it been neglected, that no one was more surprised than the Captain himself at ...
— Their Mariposa Legend • Charlotte Herr

... they check themselves with fixed gaze and bristling plumage. At that moment their little heads are filled with a rush of blood, their anger flashes forth, and they hurl themselves together with instinctive valor. They strike beak to beak, breast to breast, gaff to gaff, wing to wing, but the blows are skilfully parried, only a few feathers fall. Again they size each other up: suddenly the white rises on his wings, brandishing the deadly knife, but the red has bent his legs and lowered his head, so the white smites ...
— The Social Cancer - A Complete English Version of Noli Me Tangere • Jose Rizal

... Royson's own interests, but I knew better'n that. It don't suit his book for our dandy second mate to be sparkin' the owner's granddaughter abaft the lantern. You take my tip, Tagg, that other woman, Mrs. Haxton, is as mean as, sin, an' she blew the gaff to-night when she dropped on 'em ...
— The Wheel O' Fortune • Louis Tracy

... footage. "But we got to keep a stiff upper lip, old pal, you and me both. No cryin', no bustin' down. We had out last gallop together, an' we're at the forkin' of th' trail. So we got to be brave—we got to stand the gaff." ...
— Merton of the Movies • Harry Leon Wilson

... humming "Now the labourer's task is o'er," and surveying the groups of trout, disposed on the grass in their tribes and households apart): What a sight for the tired angler. Ah! after you with the shandy-gaff. How many? I really haven't counted; but I've had a lovely time at the wood. (Harvey turns out basket, and weighs fish.) Only seven—well, I must do better next time. 13 lb., too; that's not high average; but I report myself satisfied. ...
— Lines in Pleasant Places - Being the Aftermath of an Old Angler • William Senior

... from her broadside, and a volley of small arms; the broadside was too much elevated to hit the low hull of the brigantine, but was not without effect; the foretopmast fell, the jaws of the main gaff were severed and a large proportion of the rigging came rattling down on deck; ten of the pirates were killed, but Lafitte remained unhurt. The sloop of war entered her men over the starboard bow and a terrific contest with pistols and cutlasses ensued; Lafitte received two wounds at this ...
— The Pirates Own Book • Charles Ellms

... crept in under the half-deck; and, covering themselves up with the cutter's gaff-topsail, which had been placed within the cabin along with some spare canvas, dropped off into a sound slumber, forgetting their sad plight and their hunger alike, in sleep, the yacht meanwhile still floating along, down Channel, in a west-by-north ...
— Bob Strong's Holidays - Adrift in the Channel • John Conroy Hutcheson

... a little model of a fishing dory that Georgie made for me, with its sprit-sail and killick and painter and oars and gaff all cleverly cut with the clumsiest of jackknives. I care a great deal for the little boat; and I gave him a better knife before I came away, to remember me by; but I am afraid its shininess and trig shape may have seemed a trifle unmanly to him. His father's had been sharpened ...
— An Arrow in a Sunbeam - and Other Tales • Various

... the ships were pitching freely, it happened that Jack's father went with fish to the steam cutter, leaving the urchin on deck. As the old man drew back within a quarter-mile of his smack, he saw a black figure clambering along the gaff, and he knew that it was Jack. Young Hopeful crawled from the throat of the gaff to the very end of the spar, and then proceeded to swarm up the gaff halyards—a most perilous proceeding. The father was aghast; he whispered hurriedly, ...
— The Chequers - Being the Natural History of a Public-House, Set Forth in - a Loafer's Diary • James Runciman

... time that was necessary to prove that the sailor knew what he was talking about. The wind blew a gale and the rain fell in torrents. Just before the storm reached them, Captain Beardsley thought it would be wise to shorten his canvas, but all he took in were the gaff-topsails and fore-topmast staysail. Shortly afterward it became necessary to reef the sails that were left, and when that had been done the captain declared that he wouldn't take in anything else, even if he knew that the wind would take the sticks out of the schooner ...
— Marcy The Blockade Runner • Harry Castlemon

... more to be said or done, except to hunt for another fly in the trout fly-book. Here there was no such thing, but a local spectator offered me a huge fly, more like a gaff, and equipped with a large iron eye for attaching the gut to. Withal I suspect this weapon was meant, not for fair fishing, but for "sniggling." Now "sniggling" is a form of cold-blooded poaching. In the open water, on the Ettrick, you may see half a dozen snigglers ...
— Angling Sketches • Andrew Lang

... remember; he caught it on a dark thunderstormy day, and said when he hooked it first, baiting with a pilchard, it came so easy that he thought it was a little one, and swam up every time he slackened his line till he got it close to the top. But when he went to hook it in with his gaff he fell back over the thwart, because as soon as it saw him it opened its mouth and came over the gunwale with a rush, and hunted him round the boat till he hit it over the head with his ...
— Cormorant Crag - A Tale of the Smuggling Days • George Manville Fenn

... cry, 'A man overboard!' I lost no time. I bore down on the taffrail threw the cook overboard, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing our noble craft lay over abaft the wind. Then, quick as thought, I belayed the windlass and lowered a gaff. It struck something soft. I heard JEFF cry: 'Don't hit my head again.' I was careful. The gaff slid along his back, and finally settled firmly into the seat of his trousers. He was hoisted aboard. The first ...
— Punchinello, Vol. II., No. 35, November 26, 1870 • Various

... up an' say somethin'?" he went on, as the other struggled for breath. "Wot's gone wrong o' your gaff? Anythink ...
— The God of His Fathers • Jack London

... remember. I was going to tell you about our Slavey and the pretty pickle she got us into. I'm not sure it wasn't POTTLE'S fault. I said to him, just as he was wiping his mouth on the back of his hand after his fourth pint of shandy-gaff, "POTTLE, my boy," I said, "you're no end of a chap for shouting 'Cash forward!' so that all the girls in the shop hear you and say to one another, 'My, what a lovely voice that young POTTLE'S got!' But you're not much good at helping a pal to order ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 99, October 4, 1890 • Various

... them.—One would think our subjects' lives and goods were all our ain, and holden of us at our free will; but when we stand in need of ony matter of siller from them, which chances more frequently than we would it did, deil a boddle is to be had, save on the auld terms of giff-gaff. It is just niffer for niffer.—Aweel, neighbour, what is it that ye want—some monopoly, I reckon? Or it may be a grant of kirk-lands and teinds, or a knighthood, or the like? Ye maun be reasonable, unless ye propose to advance more money for ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... the chain, and a sharp, musical rattle rang out as it ran below, for the hollow hull flung back the metallic clinking like a sounding-board. When the cable was short-up, they grasped the halyards and the big gaff-mainsail rose flapping up the mast. They set it and turned to the head-sails, for though, strictly speaking, a sloop carries only one, the term is loosely applied in places, and as Vane had changed her rig, there were two ...
— Vane of the Timberlands • Harold Bindloss

... whistle from Spike succeeded this remark, the colours of the steamer going up to the end of a gaff on the sternmost of her schooner-rigged masts, just as Mulford ceased speaking. There was just air enough, aided by the steamer's motion, to open the bunting, and let the spectators see the design. There were the stars and stripes, as usual, ...
— Jack Tier or The Florida Reef • James Fenimore Cooper

... side luck had been from the first, got half a broadside to bear at long musket shot, killed a midshipman by Dodd's side, cut away two of the Agra's mizzen shrouds, wounded the gaff: and cut the jib stay; down fell the powerful sail into the water, and dragged across the ship's forefoot, stopping her way to the open sea she panted for, the mates groaned; the crew cheered stoutly, as British tars do in any great disaster; the pirates yelled with ferocious ...
— Great Sea Stories • Various

... his back bulged, perhaps with provisions, although the steel point of a murderous salmon-gaff protruded from the mouth of the sack and curved over ...
— The Maids of Paradise • Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers

... the bloods, who crowded stalls and stage door. Killigrew laughingly informed Carminow that Ishmael had never met an actress in his life, and in reply to Carminow's half-mocking commiseration, Ishmael answered gaily that he had never even been to the theatre, except to a penny gaff that once visited Penzance. It was indeed with a secret tingling that he now found himself seated in a box. He brought to the theatre the freshness of the child who goes to his first pantomime, and was unashamedly aware of the fact. The smell of the place, the heat—for the gas ...
— Secret Bread • F. Tennyson Jesse

... passed, and at the end of that time he found that he was bailing almost constantly. There was only one thing to do under the circumstances. The gaff lay under his hand. This is a piece of broom-handle, to the end of which a stout, sharp hook is attached, and the instrument is used in landing fish which are too heavy to swing ...
— The Harbor of Doubt • Frank Williams

... man who did it as he was cruising out of Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 1813. Sighting an armed schooner slightly heavier than his own vessel, he made for her and was unperturbed when the royal ensign streamed from her gaff. Clearing for action, he closed the hatches so that none of his men could hide below. The two schooners fought in the veiling smoke until the American could ram her bowsprit over the other's stern and pour her whole crew aboard. In the confined space of the deck, ...
— The Old Merchant Marine - A Chronicle of American Ships and Sailors, Volume 36 in - the Chronicles Of America Series • Ralph D. Paine



Words linked to "Gaff" :   spike, fishing rig, gaff-headed sail, sailing ship, rig, sailing vessel, spar, hook, gaff topsail, fishing tackle, fishing gear, tackle



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