Date: Thu, 15 Jun 1995 09:39:57 -0500
From: Molly Dickmeyer dickmeye[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]JBLSMTP.LIPPINCOTT.COM
Subject: Teen Slang Terms (Gank and Gaffle) -Reply
Where and when I grew up (south central PA 20 yrs ago) "gank"
referred to the voluntary ability to expel saliva from the mouth without
spitting, or the involuntary rush of saliva in the mouth when tasting or
smelling something strong (this is harder to explain than I thought!). Odd, I
Randy Roberts robertsr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]EXT.MISSOURI.EDU 06/14/95 10:26am
I picked up two odd terms (odd to me) from junior high students in
Columbia, Missouri. The first is "to gank" meaning to physically
assault or intimidate someone in order to steal from them. As in, I
ganked his bicycle. The only other place I have seen this term is in
Paul Dickson's 1990 book, Slang! The Topic by Topic Dictionary of
Contemporary American Lingoes. On page 217 Paul lists gank
The second word is entirely new to me. It is "to gaffle"
(spelling?) meaning simply to steal something from someone without
violence or their awareness. As in, she didn't know it, but I gaffled
a stick of gum from her purse.
My sources are only oral. The informants had no clue as to
etymology but they said both terms were old. But then, old to
teenagers can mean last week.
University of Missouri-Columbia
robertsr[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ext.missouri.edu