A correspondent writes: “I’ve been looking into the word ‘gaffle.’ It’s used in the Bay Area to mean to steal, to scam, or to arrest, but it doesn’t look anything like most of our slang. With the aid of Google, I managed to find the world defined in a few dictionaries, but they all attributed it to the North-East…” He quotes a number of books saying things like “Unique to Maine” and “Used chiefly in northern New England”; I looked it up in the Historical Dictionary of American Slang and found two definitions: 1. “Esp. Maine. to seize; take hold of, esp. for oneself; (hence) to steal. Also gaffle onto” (first cite 1900), and 2. Und. to take into custody, apprehend” (from 1954). My correspondent says: “I’m really curious about the current distribution of this word (I can’t believe it’s known only in rural New England and urban California) and what definitions other people use and have heard,” so I pass along the query to you, Varied Reader. Do you know this word, and in what part of the country have you heard it?