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Alternative forms[edit]


Metathesized form of grin.


girn (third-person singular simple present girns, present participle girning, simple past and past participle girned)

  1. (dialectal) To grimace; to snarl.
    • 1999, Jessica Stirling, The Wind from the Hills, St Martin's Press.
      At seventy-five or eighty I will be like a child myself, frail and cantankerous, a girning, burdensome old devil.
  2. (Scotland, Northern England) To whinge, moan, complain.
    • 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, p. 107:
      And Jim was just girning all the time. I telled him to shut it.
  3. (intransitive) To make elaborate unnatural and distorted faces as a form of amusement or in a girning competition.


girn (plural girns)

  1. A vocalization similar to a cat's purring.
    • 2002, edited by Richard J. Davidson, Handbook of Affective Sciences, Oxford University Press, p. 569:
      A different vocalization, a girn, simiular to a cat's purring, was observed in infants reunited with their mothers...

See also[edit]