From Middle English gaffe, from Old French gaffe, from Old Occitan gaf, derivative of gafar, from Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐍆𐍆- derived from 𐌲𐌹𐌱𐌰𐌽. gaffe.
Perhaps from Old English gafsprǣc ("buffoonery, scurrility; blasphemous or ribald speech"), from Old English gaf ("base, vile, lewd") + Old English sprǣc ("language, speech, talk"). Compare Old English gafettung.
Unknown. Possibly from Etymology 1, via a sense of “a place that will be robbed” in criminal argot; possibly from Etymology 2, via a sense of "cheap theatre"; possibly from Romani gav ("village") (whence German Kaff ("village")).
Modern English dictionary
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