gawk

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From a variant of gowk, from Middle English gowke, from Old Norse gaukr (cuckoo), from Proto-Germanic *gaukaz (cuckoo). Cognate with Danish gøg, Swedish gök, German Gauch, Old English ġēac. More at yeke.

Noun[edit]

gawk (plural gawks)

  1. a cuckoo
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnson to this entry?)
  2. a fool
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Carlyle to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

A Middle-Appalachian Americanism, since late 1800s, possibly misconstruing French "gauche," and leading to use of adj gawky for a person or process that is uncoordinated or awkward.

Noun[edit]

gawk (plural gawks)

  1. a simpleton, stupid or clumsy person.

Etymology 3[edit]

Perhaps from Old Norse (to heed)[1].

Verb[edit]

gawk (third-person singular simple present gawks, present participle gawking, simple past and past participle gawked)

  1. To stare or gape stupidly
  2. To stare conspicuously.
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ gawk” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).