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Perhaps a dialectal alteration of ghastly, by association with gash.


gashly (comparative more gashly, superlative most gashly)

  1. Ghastly, horrible. [from 17th c.]
    • 1824, Washington Irving, Tales of a Traveller[1]:
      My ladies' maid, who was troubled with nerves, declared she could never sleep alone in such a "gashly, rummaging old building;" and the footman, who was a kind-hearted young fellow, did all in his power to cheer her up.
    • 1828, JT Smith, Nollekens and His Times, Century Hutchinson, published 1986, page 243:
      I have a great mind to break all your gashly images about the head of your fine Miss, in her silks and satins;’—mistaking his lay-figure for a living model of the highest sort.
    • 1884 December 10, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter IX, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: (Tom Sawyer’s Comrade) [], London: Chatto & Windus, [], →OCLC:
      "It's a dead man. Yes, indeedy; naked, too. He's ben shot in de back. I reck'n he's ben dead two er three days. Come in, Huck, but doan' look at his face--it's too gashly."
    • 1921, William Patterson White, The Heart of the Range[2]:
      Listen here, Swing, old-timer, I got a long and gashly tale of wickedness to pour into those lily-white mule ears of yores.