What does gaffer mean?

Definitions for gaffer
ˈgæf ərgaffer

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word gaffer.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. old-timer, oldtimer, gaffer, old geezer, antiquenoun

    an elderly man

  2. gaffernoun

    an electrician responsible for lighting on a movie or tv set

  3. foreman, chief, gaffer, honcho, bossnoun

    a person who exercises control over workers

    "if you want to leave early you have to ask the foreman"

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Gaffernoun

    A word of respect now obsolete,

    Etymology: gefere , companion, Saxon.

    For gaffer Treadwell told us by the bye,
    Excessive sorrow is exceeding dry. John Gay, Pastorals.


  1. gaffer

    A gaffer is a chief electrician in a motion picture or television production unit who is in charge of lighting, lighting effects, and managing the lighting team. They work with the director and cinematographer to achieve the desired visual mood and effect for the film or show. In traditional English usage, gaffer can also refer to a boss or a foreman.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Gaffernoun

    an old fellow; an aged rustic

  2. Gaffernoun

    a foreman or overseer of a gang of laborers

  3. Etymology: [Possibly contr. fr. godfather; but prob. fr. gramfer for grandfather. Cf. Gammer.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Gaffer

    gaf′ėr, n. originally a word of respect applied to an old man, now familiar: the foreman of a squad of workmen. [Corr. of godfather, as gammer of godmother.]

Etymology and Origins

  1. Gaffer

    Provincial for an old man; a corruption of “grandfather.”

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Gaffer is ranked #134712 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Gaffer surname appeared 125 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Gaffer.

    88% or 110 total occurrences were White.
    12% or 15 total occurrences were Asian.

How to pronounce gaffer?

How to say gaffer in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of gaffer in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of gaffer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for gaffer

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"gaffer." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/gaffer>.

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