- to stare with the mouth open in wonder or astonishment; gape: Crowds stood gawping at the disabled ship.
Origin of gawp
1720–30; British dial., continuing obsolete galp, Middle English galpen, perhaps blend of Middle Dutch galpen to yawn and Middle English gapen to gape
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a variant spelling of gawp
- (intr often foll by at) British slang to stare stupidly; gape
Word Origin for gawp
C14 galpen; probably related to Old English gielpan to boast, yelp . Compare Dutch galpen to yelp
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
"fool, simpleton," 1825, perhaps from the verb meaning "to yawn, gape" (as in astonishment), which is attested from 1680s, a dialectal survival of galp (c.1300), which is related to yelp or gape.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper