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From the Old Norse gaukr (cuckoo).



gowk (plural gowks)

  1. (Northern England, Scotland) A cuckoo.
  2. A fool.
    • 1816, Sir Walter Scott, chapter 8, in Old Mortality:
      "Ill-fard, crazy, crack-brained gowk, that she is!" exclaimed the housekeeper.
    • 1976, Robert Nye, Falstaff:
      God has sent me gowks for secretaries.
    • 2016, Kerry Greenwood, Murder and Mendelssohn, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, page 303:
      `You daft great gowk, puttin' yerself in the way of harm after all this time out of a war.'


gowk (third-person singular simple present gowks, present participle gowking, simple past and past participle gowked)

  1. To make foolish; to stupefy.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)