The word gaffer is in fairly common use in Britain. When a couple of workmen were doing some work for me recently they had to ‘phone the gaffer’ to check something, the gaffer being the boss. Gaffer was originally a title of respect used to address elderly men and which often prefaced his name, just like Mr does. The OED says it was a feature of rustic speech.
Gaffer may still be heard, but its female equivalent, gammer, isn’t. A gammer was an old woman, often a grandmother and, again, the term was used as a form of address. Gammer never came to mean a female boss, but the verb to gammer developed in the 18th century (the noun is two centuries older) with the meaning ‘to idle, trifle, or gossip’. There is no verb to gaffer in the Dictionary.
Gammer and gaffer are contractions of either godmother/godfather or grandmother/grandfather. The OED isn’t sure, but comes down in favour of the former.
Gammer and gaffer were used to address people of fairly low station in life. When addressing people of a slightly higher status goody and goodman were used. In Miller’s The Crucible women are called Goody So-and-So. Goody is short for goodwife, and was often used to address married women who were not of high enough rank to warrant being addressed as Mistress. Incidentally, the word housewife underwent the same abbreviation process and became hussy, now a pejorative term, but once referring to the thrifty mistress of a household.