-gamous Look up -gamous at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "marrying," from Greek gamos "marriage, a wedding" (see gamete) + -ous.
-gamy Look up -gamy at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "marriage; fertilization," from Greek -gamia, from gamos "marriage" (see gamete).
-gate Look up -gate at Dictionary.com
suffix attached to any word to indicate "scandal involving," 1973, abstracted from Watergate, the Washington, D.C., building complex that was home of the National Headquarters of the Democratic Party when it was burglarized June 17, 1972, by operatives later found to be working for the staff and re-election campaign of U.S. President Richard Nixon.
-gen Look up -gen at Dictionary.com
word-forming element technically meaning "something produced," but mainly, in modern use, "thing that produces or causes," from French -gène (18c.), from Greek -genes "born of, produced by," which is from the same source as genos "birth," genea "race, family," from PIE *gene- (see genus). First used in late 18th century French chemistry (see oxygen), it probably involves a misunderstanding of -genes, as though it meant "that which produces."
-genesis Look up -genesis at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "birth, origin, creation," from Greek genesis (see genesis).
-genic Look up -genic at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "producing, pertaining to generation;" see -gen + -ic.
-genous Look up -genous at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "generating, producing, yielding;" see -gen + -ous. In modern formations, making adjectives corresponding to words in -gen. In some older words, from Lat Latin -genus, from Latin -gena "born" (for example indigenous).
-geny Look up -geny at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "genesis, origin, mode of production," forming corresponding abstract nouns to words in -gen, from French -génie and Modern Latin -genia, from Greek -geneia, from -genes "born, produced," the form in compounds of genos (see genus).
-gon Look up -gon at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "angle, corner," from Greek gonia "corner, angle," from PIE root *genu- (1) "knee; angle" (see knee (n.)).
-gram Look up -gram at Dictionary.com
noun suffix, "that which is written or marked, from Greek gramma "picture, written letter, piece of writing," from stem of graphein "to draw or write" (see -graphy. In some words directly from Greek use of the word in compounds, in others a modern formation. Alternative -gramme is a French form. From telegram (1850s) the element was abstracted by 1979 (in Gorillagram, a proprietary name in U.S.), and put to wide use in forming new words, such as stripagram (1981). The construction violates Greek grammar, as an adverb could not properly form part of a compound noun.
-gramme Look up -gramme at Dictionary.com
see -gram.
-graph Look up -graph at Dictionary.com
modern word-forming element meaning "instrument for recording; that which marks or describes; something written," from Greek -graphos "-writing, -writer" (as in autographos "written with one's own hand"), from graphe "writing, the art of writing, a writing," from graphein "to write, express by written characters," earlier "to draw, represent by lines drawn" (see -graphy). Adopted widely (Dutch -graaf, German -graph, French -graphe, Spanish -grafo). Related: -grapher; -graphic; -graphical.
-graphy Look up -graphy at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "process of writing or recording" or "a writing, recording, or description" (in modern use especially in forming names of descriptive sciences), from French or German -graphie, from Greek -graphia "description of," used in abstract nouns from graphein "write, express by written characters," earlier "to draw, represent by lines drawn," originally "to scrape, scratch" (on clay tablets with a stylus), from PIE root *gerbh- "to scratch, carve" (see carve).
G Look up G at Dictionary.com
seventh letter of the alphabet, invented by the Romans; for its history see C. As a movie rating in the U.S., 1966, standing for general. Standing for gravity in physics since 1785.
g spot (n.) Look up g spot at Dictionary.com
also g-spot, 1981, short for Gräfenberg spot, named for German gynecologist Ernst Gräfenberg (1881-1957), who described it in 1950.
G-man (n.) Look up G-man at Dictionary.com
"FBI agent," 1930, shortening of government man; used earlier in an Irish context (1917), but the abbreviation is perhaps the same one.
G-string (n.) Look up G-string at Dictionary.com
1878, geestring, "loincloth worn by an American Indian," originally the string that holds it up, etymology unknown. The spelling with G (1882) is perhaps from influence of violin string tuned to a G (in this sense G string is first recorded 1831), the lowest and heaviest of the violin strings. First used of women's attire 1936, with reference to strip-teasers.
I AM the spirit of the silver "G":
I am silvered sadness,
I am moonlit gladness,
I am that fine madness
Of reverence half, and half of ecstasy
[from "Spirit of the 'G' String," Alfred L. Donaldson, in "Songs of My Violin," 1901]
G.A.R. Look up G.A.R. at Dictionary.com
1867, abbreviation of Grand Army of the Republic, the organization founded by union veterans of the American Civil War. The Grand Army was the name given (on the French model) to the army that organized in Washington in 1861 to put down the rebellion.
G.I. (adj.) Look up G.I. at Dictionary.com
also GI, 1936 as an adjective meaning "U.S. Army equipment," American English, apparently an abbreviation of Government Issue, and applied to anything associated with servicemen. Transferred noun sense of "U.S. Army soldier" arose during World War II (first recorded 1943), apparently from the jocular notion that the men themselves were manufactured by the government.

An earlier G.I. (1908) was an abbreviation of galvanized iron, especially in G.I. can, a type of metal trash can; the term was picked up by U.S. soldiers in World War I as slang for a similar-looking type of German artillery shells. But it is highly unlikely that this G.I. came to mean "soldier." No two sources seem to agree on the entire etymology, but none backs the widespread notion that it stands for *General Infantry. GI Joe "any U.S. soldier" attested from 1942 (date in OED is a typo).
gab (v.) Look up gab at Dictionary.com
"talk much," 1786, probably via Scottish and northern England dialect from earlier sense "speak foolishly; talk indiscreetly" (late 14c.), from gabben "to scoff, jeer; mock (someone), ridicule; reproach (oneself)," also "to lie to" (late 13c.), from a Scandinavian source, such as Old Norse gabba "to mock, make fun of," and probably in part from Old French gaber "to mock, jest; brag, boast," which, too, is from Scandinavian. Ultimately perhaps imitative (compare gabble, which might have shaded the sense of this word). Gabber was Middle English for "liar, deceiver; mocker." Related: Gabbed; gabbing.
gab (n.) Look up gab at Dictionary.com
"action of talking," earlier "chatter, loquacity, idle talk" (mid-13c.), also "falsehood, deceit," originally "a gibe, a taunt" (c.1200), mid-13c., probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse gabb "mocking, mockery," and in part from Old French gap, gab "joke, jest; bragging talk," which also is probably from Scandinavian (compare gab (v.)). Probably also there is influence from Scottish and northern English gab "the mouth" (see gob); OED reports the word "Not in dignified use." Gift of (the) gab "talent for speaking" is from 1680s.
gabardine (n.) Look up gabardine at Dictionary.com
1590s, "dress, covering," variant of gaberdine. Meaning "closely woven cloth" is from 1904.
gabble (n.) Look up gabble at Dictionary.com
"senseless, loud, rapid talk; animal noise," c.1600, from gabble (v.).
gabble (v.) Look up gabble at Dictionary.com
"to talk noisily, rapidly, and incoherently," 1570s, frequentative of gab (v.), or else imitative. Related: Gabbled; gabbling.
gabbro (n.) Look up gabbro at Dictionary.com
type of igneous rock, 1823, introduced in geology 1809 by German geologist Christian Leopold von Buch (1774-1853), from Italian (Tuscan) gabbro, a word among the marble-workers, of obscure origin; perhaps from Latin glaber "bare, smooth, bald" (see glad). Related: Gabbroic.
gabby (adj.) Look up gabby at Dictionary.com
"garrulous, talkative," 1719, originally Scottish, from gab (n.) + -y (2). Related: Gabbiness.
Gabe Look up Gabe at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, usually short for Gabriel.
gaberdine (n.) Look up gaberdine at Dictionary.com
"long, loose outer garment," 1510s, from Spanish gabardina, which Watkins says is from Middle French galverdine, from a Germanic source such as Middle High German wallevart "pilgrimage" (German Wallfahrt) in the sense of "pilgrim's cloak." The compound would represent Proto-Germanic *wal- (source also of Old High German wallon "to roam, wander, go on a pilgrimage;" see gallant (adj.)) and Proto-Germanic *faran "to go" (see fare (v.)). The Spanish form perhaps was influenced by Spanish gabán "overcoat" and tabardina "coarse coat." Century Dictionary, however, says the Spanish word is an extended form of gabán and the Spanish word was borrowed and underwent alterations in Old French.
gabfest (n.) Look up gabfest at Dictionary.com
"session of conversation," 1895, American English colloquial, from gab + -fest.
gable (n.) Look up gable at Dictionary.com
"end of a ridged roof cut off in a vertical plane, together with the wall from the level of the eaves to the apex," mid-14c., "a gable of a building; a facade," from Old French gable "facade, front, gable," from Old Norse gafl "gable, gable-end" (in north of England, the word probably is directly from Norse), according to Watkins, probably from Proto-Germanic *gablaz "top of a pitched roof" (cognates: Middle Dutch ghevel, Dutch gevel, Old High German gibil, German Giebel, Gothic gibla "gable"). This is traced to a PIE *ghebh-el- "head," which seems to have yielded words meaning both "fork" (such as Old English gafol, geafel, Old Saxon gafala, Dutch gaffel, Old High German gabala "pitchfork," German Gabel "fork;" Old Irish gabul "forked twig") and "head" (such as Old High German gibilla, Old Saxon gibillia "skull").
Possibly the primitive meaning of the words may have been 'top', 'vertex'; this may have given rise to the sense of 'gable', and this latter to the sense of 'fork', a gable being originally formed by two pieces of timber crossed at the top supporting the end of the roof-tree." [OED]
Related: Gabled; gables; gable-end.
Gabriel Look up Gabriel at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, also name of an Old Testament angel, from Hebrew Gabhri el, literally "man of God," from gebher "man" + El "God." First element is from base of verb gabhar "was strong" (compare Arabic jabr "strong, young man;" jabbar "tyrant"). Gabriel's hounds (17c.) was a folk explanation for the cacophony of wild geese flying over, hidden by clouds or night.
gad (v.) Look up gad at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., gadden, "go quickly, hurry," of uncertain origin, perhaps from gad (n.) "sharp stick for driving oxen" on the notion of moving as animals do when being driven by a gad. There also was a Middle English gadeling (Old English gædeling) "kinsman, companion in arms; fellow, man," but which had a deteriorated sense of "person of low birth, rogue, vagabond" by c.1300 (it also had a meaning "wandering," but this is attested only from 16c.). Related: Gadding.
gad (n.) Look up gad at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "a goad, sharp pointed stick to drive oxen, etc.;" c.1400, "sharp-pointed metal spike," from Old Norse gaddr "spike, nail," from Proto-Germanic *gadaz "pointed stick" (see yard (n.2)). Attested earlier as "metal bar or rod, ingot" (mid-13c.) hence also in Middle English a unit of length in land-measure, varying from 10 to 16 feet. Not related to goad (n.), but perhaps influenced by it in sense.
gadabout (n.) Look up gadabout at Dictionary.com
"one who gads or walks idly about, especially from motives of curiosity or gossip" [Century Dictionary], 1830; see gad (v.) + about (adv.). As an adjective from 1817. Verbal phrase gadder about is attested from 1560s.
Gadarene swine (n.) Look up Gadarene swine at Dictionary.com
an image from Matt. viii:28. From Gadara, town of ancient times near Galilee.
gadfly (n.) Look up gadfly at Dictionary.com
also gad-fly, 1620s, "fly which bites cattle," probably from gad (n.) "goad, metal rod," here in the sense of "stinger;" but the sense is entangled with gad (v.) "rove about" (on the notion, perhaps, of the insect's power of flight or of the restlessness of animals plagued by them), and another early meaning of gadfly was "someone who likes to go about, often stopping here and there" (1610s). Sense of "one who irritates another" is from 1640s (equivalent of Latin oestrus; see estrus). "In strictness, only the females are gadflies, the males being smaller and quite inoffensive, living on juices of plants" [Century Dictionary]. Earlier bot-fly, from bot "skin parasite" (late 15c.).
gadget (n.) Look up gadget at Dictionary.com
1886, gadjet (but said by OED corespondents to date from 1850s), sailors' slang word for any small mechanical thing or part of a ship for which they lacked, or forgot, a name; perhaps from French gâchette "catch-piece of a mechanism" (15c.), diminutive of gâche "staple of a lock." OED says derivation from gauge is "improbable."
Gadhelic (adj.) Look up Gadhelic at Dictionary.com
1796, originally "Irish," now "pertaining to the Gaels" in the broadest sense; a "discriminated form" [Century Dictionary] of Gaelic.
gadolinium (n.) Look up gadolinium at Dictionary.com
metallic element, with element ending -ium + gadolinia, an earth named 1886 by J.C. Marginac in honor of Johan Gadolin (1760-1852), Finnish mineralogist and chemist, who in 1794 first began investigation of the earth (subsequently called gadolinite, 1802) which eventually yielded this element and several others.
gadzooks (interj.) Look up gadzooks at Dictionary.com
1690s, a condensed form of some exclamation, usually said to be God's hooks (nails of Christ's Cross) or even God's hocks. Compare godsookers (1670s). The use of Gad for God (as in egad) is first attested 1590s. Among other similar "phraseological combinations" noted by OED (all from 17c.) were gadsbobs, gadslid, gadsniggers, gadsbudlikins, and gadsnouns; in all of which the second elements are sometimes said to be mere fanciful syllables.
Gaea Look up Gaea at Dictionary.com
see Gaia.
Gael (n.) Look up Gael at Dictionary.com
1810, from Scottish Gaelic Gaidheal "member of the Gaelic race" (Irish, Scottish, Manx), corresponding to Old Irish Goidhel (compare Latin Gallus under Gallic, also see Galitia, Galatians). The native name in both Ireland and Scotland; owing to the influence of Scottish writers Gael was used in English at first exclusively of Highland Scots.
Gaelic (adj.) Look up Gaelic at Dictionary.com
1774, "of or pertaining to the Gaels" (meaning originally in English the Scottish Highlanders); 1775 as a noun, "language of the Celts of the Scottish Highlands;" earlier Gathelik (1590s), from Gael (Scottish Gaidheal; see Gael) + -ic.
gaff (n.1) Look up gaff at Dictionary.com
"iron hook," c.1300, gaffe, from Old French gaffe "boat hook" (see gaffe). Specifically of the hook on a fishing spear from 1650s. As a type of spar from 1769. Related: gaff-hook.
gaff (n.2) Look up gaff at Dictionary.com
"talk," 1812, in phrase blow the gaff "spill a secret," of uncertain origin. OED points out Old English gafspræc "blasphemous or ribald speech," and Scottish gaff "loud, rude talk" (by 1825). Compare gaffe.
gaff (n.3) Look up gaff at Dictionary.com
"cheap music hall or theater; place of amusement for the lowest classes," 1812, British slang, earlier "a fair" (1753), of unknown origin.
gaffe (n.) Look up gaffe at Dictionary.com
"blunder," 1909, perhaps from French gaffe "clumsy remark," originally "boat hook," from Middle French gaffe (15c.), from Old Provençal gafar "to seize," probably from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *gaf-, which is perhaps from PIE *kap- "to grasp, catch" (see capable). Sense connection between the hook and the blunder is obscure; the gaff was used to land big fish. Or the Modern English word might derive from British slang verb gaff "to cheat, trick" (1893); or gaff "criticism" (1896), from Scottish dialect sense of "loud, rude talk" (see gaff (n.2)).
gaffer (n.) Look up gaffer at Dictionary.com
1580s, "elderly rustic," apparently (based on continental analogies) a contraction of godfather (compare gammer). Originally a term of respect, also applied familiarly; from "old man" it was extended by 1841 to foremen and supervisors, which sense carried over in early 20c. to "electrician in charge of lighting on a film set."
gag (v.) Look up gag at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., transitive, "to choke, strangle" (someone), possibly imitative and perhaps influenced by Old Norse gag-hals "with head thrown back." The sense of "stop a person's mouth by thrusting something into it" is first attested c.1500. Intransitive sense of "to retch" is from 1707. Transitive meaning "cause to heave with nausea" is from 1945. Related: Gagged; gagging.
gag (n.2) Look up gag at Dictionary.com
"a joke," 1863, especially a practical joke, probably related to theatrical sense of "matter interpolated in a written piece by the actor" (1847); or from the sense "made-up story" (1805); or from slang verbal sense of "to deceive, take in with talk" (1777), all of which perhaps are from gag (v.) on the notion of "to stuff, fill" (see gag (v.)). Gagster "comedian" is by 1932.