EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

gawf (plural gawfs)

  1. (obsolete, London, slang) A cheap and low-quality apple that has been polished to deceptively appear of better quality.
    • 1851, Mayhew, Henry, “Costermongers”, in London Labour and the London Poor, volume 1, Of the Tricks of Costermongers, page 61:
      A cheap red-skinned fruit, known to costermongers as "gawfs," is rubbed hard, to look bright and feel soft, and is mixed with apples of a superior description. "Gawfs are sweet and sour at once," I was told, "and fit for nothing but mixing."
    • 2011, Hillyer, Ed, The Clay Dreaming, Myriad Editions:
      From Little White-Lion-street, an appleman in his stuff-coat swings out wide, side-pockets loaded. Doing brisk business, he turns to his young helper. 'Hurry it up with them gawfs!' he hisses. The boy redoubles his efforts, frantically rubbing at the redskinned fruit to make it look brighter and feel softer.
    • 2012, Shepherd, Lynn, Tom-All-Alone's, Hachette UK:
      In the piazza business is already brisk and the air is thick with costers' cries: 'Three a penny, two shillins the lot'; 'Best quality leeks, just look at the shine on these beauties'; 'Fine apples, mister – 'apenny each – you won't get no gawfs 'ere.

ReferencesEdit