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waffle (n.)
"kind of batter-cake, baked crisp in irons and served hot," 1744, from Dutch wafel "waffle," from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German wafel, from Proto-Germanic *wabila- "web, honeycomb" (source also of Old High German waba "honeycomb," German Wabe), related to Old High German weban, Old English wefan "to weave" (see weave (v.)). Sense of "honeycomb" is preserved in some combinations referring to a weave of cloth. Waffle iron is from 1794.
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waffle (v.)
1690s, "to yelp, bark," frequentative of provincial waff "to yelp, to bark like a puppy" (1610); possibly of imitative origin. Figurative sense of "talk foolishly" (c. 1700) led to that of "vacillate, equivocate" (1803), originally a Scottish and northern English usage. Late 17c. Scottish also had waff "act of waving," variant of waft, which might have influenced the sense. Related: Waffled; waffler; waffling.
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wafer (n.)
late 14c., "thin cake of paste, generally disk-shaped," from Anglo-French wafre, Old North French waufre "honeycomb, wafer" (Old French gaufre "wafer, waffle"), probably from Frankish *wafel or another Germanic source (compare Flemish wafer, altered from Middle Dutch wafel "honeycomb;" see waffle (n.)). Eucharistic bread first so called 1550s.
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gofer (n.1)
"thin cake or waffle with a honeycomb pattern," 1769, from French gaufre, literally "honeycomb" (see wafer (n.)).
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gopher (n.)
burrowing squirrel, 1812, American English, perhaps an Englishing of Louisiana French gaufre "honeycomb, waffle," said to have been used by French settlers in reference to small mammals on analogy of the structure of their burrows, from Old French gaufre, walfre (12c.), which is from Frankish or some other Germanic source. The rodent was the nickname of people from Arkansas (1845) and later Minnesota (1872). The gopherwood tree of the Bible (used by Noah to make the ark, Genesis vi.14) is unrelated; it is from Hebrew gofer, name of a kind of wood now unidentified, perhaps meaning the cypress.
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