[syn: gopher tortoise, gopher turtle, gopher, Gopherus polypemus]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gopher \Go"pher\, n. [F. gaufre waffle, honeycomb. See
1. One of several North American burrowing rodents of the
genera Geomys and Thomomys, of the family
Geomyid[ae]; -- called also pocket gopher and pouched
rat. See Pocket gopher, and Tucan.
Note: The name was originally given by French settlers to
many burrowing rodents, from their honeycombing the
2. One of several western American species of the genus
Spermophilus, of the family Sciurid[ae]; as, the gray
gopher (Spermophilus Franklini) and the striped gopher
(S. tridecemlineatus); -- called also striped prairie
squirrel, leopard marmot, and leopard spermophile.
3. A large land tortoise (Testudo Carilina) of the Southern
United States, which makes extensive burrows.
4. A large burrowing snake (Spilotes Couperi) of the
Southern United States.
Gopher drift (Mining), an irregular prospecting drift,
following or seeking the ore without regard to regular
grade or section. --Raymond.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Prairie \Prai"rie\, n. [F., an extensive meadow, OF. praerie,
LL. prataria, fr. L. pratum a meadow.]
1. An extensive tract of level or rolling land, destitute of
trees, covered with coarse grass, and usually
characterized by a deep, fertile soil. They abound
throughout the Mississippi valley, between the Alleghanies
and the Rocky mountains.
From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the northland. --Longfellow.
2. A meadow or tract of grass; especially, a so called
Prairie chicken (Zool.), any American grouse of the genus
Tympanuchus, especially Tympanuchus Americanus
(formerly Tympanuchus cupido), which inhabits the
prairies of the central United States. Applied also to the
Prairie clover (Bot.), any plant of the leguminous genus
Petalostemon, having small rosy or white flowers in
dense terminal heads or spikes. Several species occur in
the prairies of the United States.
Prairie dock (Bot.), a coarse composite plant (Silphium
terebinthaceum) with large rough leaves and yellow
flowers, found in the Western prairies.
Prairie dog (Zool.), a small American rodent (Cynomys
Ludovicianus) allied to the marmots. It inhabits the
plains west of the Mississippi. The prairie dogs burrow in
the ground in large warrens, and have a sharp bark like
that of a dog. Called also prairie marmot.
Prairie grouse. Same as Prairie chicken, above.
Prairie hare (Zool.), a large long-eared Western hare
(Lepus campestris). See Jack rabbit, under 2d Jack.
Prairie hawk, Prairie falcon (Zool.), a falcon of Western
North America (Falco Mexicanus). The upper parts are
brown. The tail has transverse bands of white; the under
parts, longitudinal streaks and spots of brown.
Prairie hen. (Zool.) Same as Prairie chicken, above.
Prairie itch (Med.), an affection of the skin attended with
intense itching, which is observed in the Northern and
Western United States; -- also called swamp itch,
Prairie marmot. (Zool.) Same as Prairie dog, above.
Prairie mole (Zool.), a large American mole (Scalops
argentatus), native of the Western prairies.
Prairie pigeon, Prairie plover, or Prairie snipe
(Zool.), the upland plover. See Plover, n., 2.
Prairie rattlesnake (Zool.), the massasauga.
Prairie snake (Zool.), a large harmless American snake
(Masticophis flavigularis). It is pale yellow, tinged
with brown above.
Prairie squirrel (Zool.), any American ground squirrel of
the genus Spermophilus, inhabiting prairies; -- called
Prairie turnip (Bot.), the edible turnip-shaped farinaceous
root of a leguminous plant (Psoralea esculenta) of the
Upper Missouri region; also, the plant itself. Called also
pomme blanche, and pomme de prairie.
Prairie warbler (Zool.), a bright-colored American warbler
(Dendroica discolor). The back is olive yellow, with a
group of reddish spots in the middle; the under parts and
the parts around the eyes are bright yellow; the sides of
the throat and spots along the sides, black; three outer
tail feathers partly white.
Prairie wolf. (Zool.) See Coyote.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a zealously energetic person (especially a salesman) [syn:
2: a native or resident of Minnesota [syn: Minnesotan,
3: any of various terrestrial burrowing rodents of Old and New
Worlds; often destroy crops [syn: ground squirrel,
4: burrowing rodent of the family Geomyidae having large
external cheek pouches; of Central America and southwestern
North America [syn: gopher, pocket gopher, pouched rat]
5: burrowing edible land tortoise of southeastern North America
[syn: gopher tortoise, gopher turtle, gopher, Gopherus
The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
[obs.] A type of Internet service first floated around 1991 and obsolesced
around 1995 by the World Wide Web. Gopher presents a menuing interface to a
tree or graph of links; the links can be to documents, runnable programs,
or other gopher menus arbitrarily far across the net.
Some claim that the gopher software, which was originally developed at the
University of Minnesota, was named after the Minnesota Gophers (a sports
team). Others claim the word derives from American slang gofer (from ?go
for?, dialectal ?go fer?), one whose job is to run and fetch things.
Finally, observe that gophers dig long tunnels, and the idea of tunneling
through the net to find information was a defining metaphor for the
developers. Probably all three things were true, but with the first two
coming first and the gopher-tunnel metaphor serendipitously adding flavor
and impetus to the project as it developed out of its concept stage.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
A distributed document retrieval
system which started as a Campus Wide Information System at
the University of Minnesota, and which was popular in the
Gopher is defined in RFC 1436. The protocol is like a
primitive form of HTTP (which came later). Gopher lacks the
MIME features of HTTP, but expressed the equivalent of a
document's MIME type with a one-character code for the
"Gopher object type". At time of writing (2001), all Web
browers should be able to access gopher servers, although few
gopher servers exist anymore.
Tim Berners-Lee, in his book "Weaving The Web" (pp.72-73),
related his opinion that it was not so much the protocol
limitations of gopher that made people abandon it in favor of
HTTP/HTML, but instead the legal missteps on the part of the
university where it was developed:
"It was just about this time, spring 1993, that the University
of Minnesota decided that it would ask for a license fee from
certain classes of users who wanted to use gopher. Since the
gopher software being picked up so widely, the university was
going to charge an annual fee. The browser, and the act of
browsing, would be free, and the server software would remain
free to nonprofit and educational institutions. But any other
users, notably companies, would have to pay to use gopher
"This was an act of treason in the academic community and the
Internet community. Even if the university never charged
anyone a dime, the fact that the school had announced it was
reserving the right to charge people for the use of the gopher
protocols meant it had crossed the line. To use the
technology was too risky. Industry dropped gopher like a hot
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
a tree from the wood of which Noah was directed to build the ark
(Gen. 6:14). It is mentioned only there. The LXX. render this
word by "squared beams," and the Vulgate by "planed wood." Other
versions have rendered it "pine" and "cedar;" but the weight of
authority is in favour of understanding by it the cypress tree,
which grows abundantly in Chaldea and Armenia.