gaffe (n.) Look up gaffe at
"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)).