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90s Slang You Should Know


[gaw-kee] /ˈgɔ ki/
adjective, gawkier, gawkiest.
awkward; ungainly; clumsy.
Also, gawkish
[gaw-kish] /ˈgɔ kɪʃ/ (Show IPA)
Origin of gawky
First recorded in 1715-25; gawk + -y1
Related forms
gawkily, gawkishly, adverb
gawkiness, gawkishness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gawky
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I was first smitten with the passion to act—a gawky girl of ten at a child's party," Selma began.

    She Buildeth Her House Will Comfort
  • Fries nuvver was no good for nobody 35 at the gawky age, nohow.

    The Annals of Ann Kate Trimble Sharber
  • A gawky, long-limbed woman stalked in, smiling grimly at Eubank, but with the tail of his eye on the girl in the doorway.

    In Kings' Byways Stanley J. Weyman
  • I never kissed her, as I intended, but I stood staring like a gawky.

  • Lipoti Virag, basilicogrammate, chutes rapidly down through the chimneyflue and struts two steps to the left on gawky pink stilts.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • Damn them, I am sick of these gawky, long-legged, half-civilized recruits!

    Horse-Shoe Robinson John Pendleton Kennedy
  • It was not any wonder, for other lads as deliberate and gawky as himself had bothered her all the week with the same demand.

    Bud Neil Munro
  • The ship was a skeleton, a long, gawky structure of naked metal beams.

    Martyr Alan Edward Nourse
  • You're ugly and gawky enough, Dave, but no evil angel of temptation was ever so compelling as you.

    A Top-Floor Idyl George van Schaick
British Dictionary definitions for gawky


adjective gawkier, gawkiest
clumsy or ungainly; awkward
(West Yorkshire, dialect) left-handed
Derived Forms
gawkily, gawkishly, adverb
gawkiness, gawkishness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gawky

"awkward, ungainly," 1724, from gawk hand "left hand" (1703), perhaps a contraction of gaulick, thus "gaulish hand," derogatory slang that could have originated during some period of strained Anglo-French relations, i.e. most of recorded history.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gawky



Awkward; ill-coordinated (1759+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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