• To cure bacon by salting.
  • To beat by a gammon (without the opponent bearing off a stone).
  • To lash with ropes (on a ship).
  • To deceive; to lie plausibly to.


  • From Middle English, from Old French gambon (compare modern French jambon ("ham")), from gambe, from Late Latin *gamba, from Ancient Greek κάμπη, from Proto-Indo-European *kamp- ("to bend; crooked"). jamon.
  • Probably a special use of Middle English gamen ("game").
  • Perhaps related to the first etymology, with reference to tying up a ham.
  • Perhaps a special use of the word from etymology 2.
  • Gained popularity in 2017 (in the phrase "Great Wall of Gammon", likening the referents' rosy complexions to gammon), although the metaphor was in use earlier: the BBC points to a 2016 use of "gammon face". Not related to the "gammon tendency" in Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby, where the word means "nonsense".

Modern English dictionary

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