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An American English alteration of gangling.[1][2]





gangly (comparative ganglier, superlative gangliest)

  1. Tall and thin, especially so as to cause physical awkwardness.
    • 1870–1871 (date written), Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter VII, in Roughing It, Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company [et al.], published 1872, →OCLC, page 61:
      I should have shot that long gangly lubber they called Hank, if I could have done it without crippling six or seven other people—but of course I couldn't, []
    • 1917, Jack London, chapter XV, in Michael, Brother of Jerry:
      A rangy, gangly, Scandinavian youth of a sailor, droop-shouldered, six feet six and slender as a lath, with pallid eyes of palest blue and skin and hair attuned to the same colour scheme, joined Kwaque in his work.
    • 1957, Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Viking Press, →OCLC:
      He was a tall, gangly, shy satirist who mumbled to you with his head turned away and always said funny things.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      She was gangly and wild and walked with her wrists turned inside out...
    • 2007, Oswald J. Schmitz, Ecology and Ecosystem Conservation, page 34:
      Individuals of this rabbit species tend to be very large (about the size of a beagle dog); they have long ears and long, gangly legs and a very thin fur coats.
    • 2011 October 15, Owen Phillips, “Stoke 2 - 0 Fulham”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      [Peter Crouch] The gangly striker played a one-two with Jermaine Pennant as the winger cut in from the right, and although Pennant easily jinked past centre-half Brede Hangeland, he shot narrowly wide of the far post.



Derived terms





  1. ^ gangly, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, launched 2000.
  2. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024) “gangly (adj.)”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.