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1. WordNet® 3.0 (2006)
gopher
    n 1: a zealously energetic person (especially a salesman) [syn:
         goffer, gopher]
    2: a native or resident of Minnesota [syn: Minnesotan,
       Gopher]
    3: any of various terrestrial burrowing rodents of Old and New
       Worlds; often destroy crops [syn: ground squirrel,
       gopher, spermophile]
    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
       polypemus]

2. The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48
Gopher \Go"pher\, n. [F. gaufre waffle, honeycomb. See
   Gauffer.] (Zool.)
   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.
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: The name was originally given by French settlers to
         many burrowing rodents, from their honeycombing the
         earth.
         [1913 Webster]

   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.
      See Spermophile.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. A large land tortoise (Testudo Carilina) of the Southern
      United States, which makes extensive burrows.
      [1913 Webster]

   4. A large burrowing snake (Spilotes Couperi) of the
      Southern United States.
      [1913 Webster]

   Gopher drift (Mining), an irregular prospecting drift,
      following or seeking the ore without regard to regular
      grade or section. --Raymond.
      [1913 Webster]

3. 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.
      [1913 Webster]

            From the forests and the prairies,
            From the great lakes of the northland. --Longfellow.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. A meadow or tract of grass; especially, a so called
      natural meadow.
      [1913 Webster]

   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
      sharp-tailed grouse.

   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,
      winter 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
      also gopher.

   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.
      [1913 Webster]

4. The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003)
gopher
 n.

    [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.


5. The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018)
gopher

    A distributed document retrieval
   system which started as a Campus Wide Information System at
   the University of Minnesota, and which was popular in the
   early 1990s.

   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
   server software.

   "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
   potato."

   (2001-03-31)


6. Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Gopher
   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.
   

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