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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English goom, gome, from Old English guma (man, lord, hero), from Proto-Germanic *gumô (man), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰǵʰm̥mō. Cognate with Scots gome (man), Norwegian gume (man), Icelandic gumi (man), Latin homo (man).

Alternative forms[edit]


goom (plural gooms)

  1. (now chiefly dialectal) A man.
    • 1515, the Scottish Field:
      The king was glade of that golde, that the gome brought, And promised him full pertly, his part for to take, [...]
    • 1860 May, various, “Reviews and Literary Notices”[1], Atlantic Monthly, volume 5, number 31, Project Gutenberg: 
      … at it would be quite as inconvenient to explain that the termination _goom_ was a derivation from the Anglo-Saxon _guma_ as that it was a corruption of it; …
    • 2008, Barry J. Blake, All About Language: A Guide[2], Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780191622830:
      Similarly bridegroom was originally bridegoom, where goom' meant 'man'. … It was changed to groom, though a bridegroom does not normally groom the bride.
    • 2011 May 8, Jan Freeman, “Here comes the goom”, Boston Globle:
      Groom for bridegroom has been called inelegant, but it’s surely an improvement on goom.
  2. (obsolete) lord; Lord; God.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English gome, gome, from Old Norse gaumr, gaum (heed, attention, care), from Proto-Germanic *gaumō (attention), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰow-, *gʰowē- (to perceive, note, ensure, provide for). Cognate with Old English ġīeme (care), Old English ġīeman (to care for, heal; correct, reprove; take notice of, take heed to, regard, observe; take charge of, control). More at gaum.


goom (uncountable)

  1. (now chiefly dialectal) Heed; attention; notice; care.

Etymology 3[edit]

Perhaps from dialectal goom, goome (gum, palate). More at gum.


goom (plural gooms)

  1. (dialectal) Blunted teeth on a saw.
    • 1823, Edward Moor, Suffolk Words and Phrases[3], edition Digitized, J. Loder for R. Hunter, published 2007, page 522:
      The portion so blunted is called the goom. When the teeth are so worn down by use , as to be almost as low as those broken off, the saw requires gooming.


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Middle English[edit]


See Old English guma.



  1. man