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.

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; a stupid or clumsy person.

Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Perhaps from English dialectal gaw ‎(to stare; gawk) +‎ -k, as in talk, stalk, etc., ultimately 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).