Author Topic: Goaf, gob and ogof.  (Read 852 times)

Offline rjw

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Goaf, gob and ogof.
« on: August 08, 2021, 07:44:41 pm »
Browsing through a technical report on mine water rebound and there is a footnote that says:

“Goaf and “gob” are both derived from the Welsh word “ogof’, meaning a cave.

can anyone confirm or deny? Various online dictionaries say origin unknown for goaf. The word goaf seems to be the common term in Welsh collieries, did it spread from there to other coalfields? Or is there no Welsh connection at all and the words arose elsewhere?
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Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2021, 08:34:45 pm »
Don't know but I see the same elsewhere
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_coal_mining_terminology#G
"...The goaf, gove, gob, shut or waste is the void from which all the coal in a seam has been extracted and where the roof is allowed to collapse in a controlled manner. The term possibly comes from Welsh language ogof, gof, "cave"..."
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Offline mikem

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2021, 07:42:49 am »
Although goaf could also be related to:
https://www.etymonline.com/word/gulf

See it's use on other side of UK:
https://www.lexico.com/definition/goaf

There does seem to be some confusion about whether it is the space or the waste materials used to fill it:
https://www.wordnik.com/words/gob

& these further references:
https://www.mindat.org/glossary/gob

Seems the use of gob for a mouthy person comes from there:
https://www.mindat.org/glossary/gob-pile_orator

Both uses of goaf refer to a space that you put stuff (gob) in.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2021, 08:01:28 am by mikem »

Offline legendrider

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2021, 08:22:37 am »
Usage in Durham coalfield:

Gob - unsupported roof behind the face which was allowed to fall after the chocks were advanced
         (that scary noise you just heard was the Gob dropping)

Goaf - void left behind after coal mined out - preferably full of dropped Gob or waste

It was desireable for the Gob to drop progressively and fill up the Goaf through upward void migration.  When the Gob was exceptionally tough, it might remain standing then let go suddenly with a large rush of air.  This latter scenario happened in old workings at Wrytree Colliery near Hexham, when a whole panel of Little Limestone roof beam (about the size of a football pitch) let go and blew anything not bolted down clean out of the drift!

MARK


Offline Tomferry

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2021, 09:06:11 am »
Agree with mark this is the understanding I have .

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2021, 10:15:29 am »
Then of course we have that fine old Cornish word fogou. The most interesting linguistic feature I have found (see posting in 2008) is that in Gaelic sluighaire means swallet. So why a patch of East Mendip has slockers (presumably same derivation) is a bit of a puzzle. 

Offline pwhole

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2021, 10:29:38 am »
My coal-mining expert colleagues generally refer to goaf as backfilled old workings - whether specifically referring to the void or the contents hasn't been made clear. Below are a few shots of some ancient pillar-and-stall workings backfilled with 'gob', I guess - random lumps of shale mostly. I wasn't entirely clear what I was looking at until my friend told me that it was essentially a backfilled passage 'spilling its guts' as he said, after intersection by quarrying. Ironstone directly above and good-quality sandstone below - no ganister here. This is in South Yorkshire, but on very private property - it was a permission trip though.

Offline christwigg

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2021, 01:07:33 pm »
In Cleveland Ironstone "goaf" is exclusively used.

But we had miners coming in from Wales, Scotland, Cornwall from the 1850's onwards so that probably doesn't help massively with a specific derivation.

However attached is an interesting news article suggesting its the same word.

Derbyshire Courier - Saturday 09 March 1918

Goaf and Gob. If you asked a Derbyshire miner to tell you where the goaf is a pit the probability is that would be unable to answer, but if you asked him to explain where the gob is he would have no difficulty. For years the place where the waste is thrown has been known no other name than the gob. On Saturday the Chesterfield Coroner, an inquest at Beighton, asked a mines official how spell the word. “G-o-a-f,” was the reply, which was followed by an explanation that the miner always pronounced it “g-o-b"

Offline Tomferry

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2021, 02:25:39 pm »
I have got many coal mining books from snibston colliery technical collage I am sure some of these have “phrases” /terms with their meaning next to them after work I shall re check this  :thumbsup:

Offline Tomferry

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2021, 06:34:26 pm »
Other terminology.

The process of making the excavations in the rocks but not in the seam is usually termed as dead work .

Some Portion of the winning working abandoned after extraction of certain reserves of useful minerals, is called waste or goaf.

Advanced coal mining volume 1

Offline Paul Marvin

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2021, 06:54:47 pm »
Where I live " Gob " has a very different meaning used down the pits
I dont know where I am going, but will know where I am when I get there.

Offline mikem

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2021, 07:32:44 pm »
On Mendip the open chambers encountered during mining were gulfs, which were usually filled with the miners' deads.

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2021, 11:29:52 pm »
My Dad, born on Graigwen, Pontypridd. used to refer to "stuffing the gob" meaning backfilling empty space with waste.

I would like to believe the origin was the word ogof......but I don't really.


.

Offline kay

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2021, 07:48:00 am »
My Dad, born on Graigwen, Pontypridd. used to refer to "stuffing the gob" meaning backfilling empty space with waste.


.

Any connection with “stuffing your gob” = eating greedily?

Offline legendrider

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2021, 10:08:21 am »
I'm no Welsh language expert, however I think 'Ogof' etymologically linked to 'Gouffre' the French word for cave via a Latin root, as are many other examples.  (Google or Sinker can confirm!)

The Latin word 'cave' means 'beware' - appropriate!

MARK

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2021, 03:48:39 pm »
Maybe, maybe. Gouffre may be derived from old French Gober - but it's thought to have Celtic routes not Latin (p-gaelic, such as Welsh, Cornish, Breton, Gaul) so it might have a common origin? Dunno...
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Offline rjw

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2021, 10:34:21 pm »
My Dad, born on Graigwen, Pontypridd. used to refer to "stuffing the gob" meaning backfilling empty space with waste.

I would like to believe the origin was the word ogof......but I don't really.

No, it doesn't seem quite right to me either. Welsh miners wouldn't corrupt a Welsh word into something else. Though possibly non Welsh speakers might mishear it.

It's a very distinctive word that seems to have sprung into existence fully formed in the early 1800s. One dictionary refers to the first instance being in the 1820-40 period in the Edinburgh Examiner.

Just to complicate things here's another possible origin in "A Glossary of North Country Words and their Etymology":

"GOAF, the space remaining in a coal mine after the removal of the coal. Probably from Sax, cofe, a cave, an inner room."
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Offline mikem

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2021, 11:22:03 pm »
A dictionary of the Anglo Saxon language 1838 by Rev. J Bosworth does list Cof, cofa, cofe as cove; cave; repository; inner room

Lexico says of the hay barn meaning: "Origin
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Promptorium Parvulorum. From early Scandinavian (compare Old Icelandic gólf floor, bay in a building, Old Swedish golf floor (Swedish golv floor, bay in a building), Old Danish gulv floor, bay in a building (Danish gulv floor, (regional) room, bay of a barn, barn)), further etymology uncertain." Which seems most likely - that it's a farming term transferred across.

However, US pronunciation of gulf sounds more like goaf:
« Last Edit: August 10, 2021, 11:39:43 pm by mikem »

Offline Tomferry

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Re: Goaf, gob and ogof.
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2021, 07:39:39 pm »
Am reading a National coal board book at the moment and it has just mentioned the word gob , I shall give this thread a update .

Gob.

Fires often break out in mines of their own accord in waste spaces called gobs. These terrible gob fires are chiefly due to the oxygen of the air attacking the bits of coal,timber, and other things that will burn left in gobs  , they are detected by the smell gobstink that is to say stink damp, we also get gob fires  which in short is a disastrous fire that is stopped by cutting of all air to it .

 

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