I'm reading a novel set in the UK (I'm in Maryland, USA). In the novel, someone asks the time; the reply is, "gone eight." What does this mean, please? Thank you.
gone with a time means later than, so gone eight means after eight o'clock.
You'd more often use it in circumstances to emphasise the lateness -
It's already gone 9.30, I was supposed to be in work half an hour ago.
and although you can use it for things which have not yet happened
I don't think he'll arrive 'till gone midnight
... you wouldn't use it to make plans:
Let's meet up gone lunchtime
you'd use after in this case.