1. an outcry, a noise [? also link to gaff n.1 (1), a fair, where ‘outcry’ would naturally be the order of any day].
|Eng. Spy II 267: Stifle e’en a bull-dog’s gaff.|
2. a chat, a gossip.
|‘Epistle from Joe Muggins’s Dog’ in Era (London) 28 Nov. 4/1: I thought I’d have a bit of a gaff with ‘Tats’ yard-dog.|
3. (also gaffery) humbug, nonsense; rumour.
|‘Epistle from Joe Muggins’s Dog’ in Era (London) 3 Mar. 3/3: I set it down as all ‘gaff’ to drive ther animal back in ther bettin.|
|Five Years’ Penal Servitude 312: I also saw that Jemmy’s blowing up of me wos all gaff. He knew as well as I did the things left the shop all right.|
|Illus. Police News 9 Nov. 12/3: ‘No gab or gaffery here’.|
|Tell England (1965) 251: Don’t stand there talking such gaff.|
|Love me Sailor 179: Aw, shut yer bloody gaff.|
|Benny Muscles In (2004) 284: You think I’m a dumb country cop, huh? Listening to your gaff.|
|Gentleman Junkie (1961) 130: He had talent; not the kind of gaff the village phonies put out, but the real thing.‘Have Coolth’ in|
4. (US) constructed with the, a dismissal; ridicule.
|Artie (1963) 65: If he gets the gaff he’ll be flat on his back.|
|Hand-made Fables 211: A Pure Girl suffers a lot at the hands of a Viper in a Riding Costume, but finally wins out and slips him the Gaff.|
5. (US) severe treatment, criticism, punishment or hardship.
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 391: All of us present [stopped drinking] when the gaff got too strong and we had to.|
|Sandburrs 28: It seems them Indians gives him d’ Hummin’ Boid; an’ dey gives him d’ gaff too deep.‘The Humming Bird’ in|
|Vocab. Criminal Sl. 36: gaff [...] An offensive action, thing or condition, of vague, complex or undetermined meaning. It is variously employed or construed to mean defeat, punishment, failure, or the instruments of these.|
|Leave it to Psmith (1993) 461: Yes, I should imagine that that would stick the gaff into the course of true love to no small extent.|
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 82: Gaff.—Punishment; a hard pace.|
|Lonely Boy Blues (1965) 42: I can take your gaff, Pop. I’m hard alla way through.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 800: gaff—Punishment; a hard pace.|
6. a legitimate job, work.
|Human Touch 26: Now in your gaff – teaching figures an’ all that sort of thing – mistakes don’t matter.|
|Main Street (1921) 4: I get so dog-gone impatient with people that can’t stand the gaff.|
|Little Caesar (1932) 254: Gaff, police examination or interrogation.|
|Crazy Kill 53: Why do all of us have to take the cop’s gaff if we know Chink did it?|
9. (Ulster) rumour, .
|Come Day – Go Day (1984) 152: ‘Many out?’ ‘It’s packed! You missed the gaff. The preacher got threw in.’ .|
to deliver severe treatment/criticism; to tease.
|Herald (Los Angeles) 28 Oct. 9/1: Mills was doing de right thing to cut off de revenue. That was de only way to put de gaff into the enemy.|
|in McClure’s Mag. Oct. 563: ‘Good,’ they cheer, when you find fault; ‘give us the gaff. We deserve it and it does us good.’ [DA].|
|Sure 62: [D]e gang give us de gaff for fair, when dey pipes us in de carriage.|
|Wash. Post 3 July 3/1: ‘Yer don’t have ter put the gaff inter me that strong,’ remonstrated Joe.|
|Bismark Daily Trib. 23 Dec. 4/1: The Valley City Times-Record puts the gaff to Col. Bloom in this wise, which [...] is cold turkey talk.|
to beat up.
|Ade’s Fables 183: About the time he came up for re-election, a lot of Character-Assassins tried to shell-road him and hand him the Gaff .‘The New Fable of The Toilsome Ascent’ in|
1. (also get the gaff, take the gaff) to receive severe treatment, criticism etc.
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 8 Feb. 11/2: Jackson may be as courageous as any pugilist who ever stood In a prize ring, but many claim that he will not, to use a cock-fighting phrase, ‘stand the gaffs’.|
|Artie (1963) 111: If he gets the gaff, he’ll be flat on his back.|
|Bucky O’Connor (1910) 244: Neil has got to stand the gaff for what he’s done, but I’ll pull wires to get his punishment made light.|
|Autobiog. 435: Bob has been taking the gaff all these years, and isn’t going to take it alone any longer [DA].|
|You Know Me Al (1984) 58: If you can stand the gaff I may be able to use you in the city serious.|
|Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 268: Every picture-printing sheet besieged, stormed, bombarded that lone castle with its garrison of one old housekeeper. And how she stood the gaff!‘Pics’ in|
|Wash. Times (DC) 14 Nov. 19/1: They did not like to see one of their own Gang put out in front to get the Gaff [...] They preferred that it should be some Dead Card who wore Congress Gaiters and Throat Warmers.|
|17 Oct. diary in Aaron (1985) 320: He will not be able to stand the gaff, lacks the spine.|
|(con. 1830s–60s) All That Swagger 205: A decent man always holds his tongue and stands the gaff if a woman is concerned.|
|Big Con 55: Hazel and Abbott [...] could not stand the gaff and never played their little game again.|
|Don’t Tread on Me (1987) 83: Ordinary air mail stationery will never stand the gaff.letter 21 Jan. in Crowther|
|Madball (2019) 142: [of indigestion] ‘By all means, if your stomach will stand the gaff’.|
|Battle Cry (1964) 293: I was determined to work him till his ass dragged, but Levin stood the gaff.|
|Flesh Peddlers (1964) 196: Yeah, ole Booley couldn’t stand the gaff.|
|A Second Browser’s Dict. 107: Stand the gaff. To bear up under punishment, pain, stress.|
2. (also take the gaff) to suffer interrogation, beatings, or any adverse conditions.
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 200: There’s been about forty or fifty of the junipers that shipped in Mare Island [...] jumped her down here – couldn’t stand the gaff.|
|‘Pal’ in Goodwin’s Wkly (Salt Lake City, UT) 2 Dec. 6/3: But I’ve heard Pal laugh as he stood the gaff for me in the Third Degree.|
|Little Caesar (1932) 67: As long as they don’t nab him and put it to him. He can’t stand the gaff.|
|Prison Community (1940) 332/1: gaff, n. Pressure, third degree: ‘he stood the gaff.’.|
|‘The Open Book’ in Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 116: Take that gunsel from out in Dakota, / Who claims he can ‘sure stand the gaff,’ / Though raised on the prairies, he only knows dairies, / And was caught stealing milk from a calf.|
|DAUL 208/1: Stand the gaff. 1. To withstand legal prosecution and persecution without confessing or involving one’s accomplices. 2. (P) To serve a prison term without compromising one’s underworld principles. [Ibid.] 252: Yuh never could take the gaff!et al.|
3. to sustain a situation, good or bad.
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 79: Yuh couldn’t stand the gaff.|
|Taking the Count 37: Are you willing to stand the gaff and give me a chance to prove that this article is all wrong.‘Sporting Doctor’ in|
|Rough Stuff 146: You would be a man who couldn’t stand the gaff, not to be trusted and therefore you would never be able to market your brains and capabilities again.|
|Term of His Natural Life (1897) 51: Stow yer gaff [...] and let’s have no more chaff.|
|Aus. Jrnl 22 128: ‘Well, stow your gaff, then,’ grumbled Mr. Gabbett, ‘and let's have no more chaff’ .|
|Exeter & Plymouth Gaz. 15 Oct. 6/4: Stow yer gaff, the es roche (horse) was mine.|
|Yorks. Eve. Post 27 Sept. 2/7: His sergeant answered: ‘You stow your gaff’.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Nov. 47/1: ‘Oh! stow yer gaff, for ’Eaven’s sake,’ young Jack McCluskey said. / ‘The man that drinks your whisky best, ’e drinks it when ’e’s dead.’.|