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gowk

[gouk, gohk]
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noun
  1. British Dialect. cuckoo.
  2. a fool or simpleton.
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Origin of gowk

1275–1325; Middle English goke < Old Norse gaukr; cognate with Old English gēac, German Gauch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gowk

Historical Examples

  • It's no use just to be a good husband to her: any gowk can be that.

    A Safety Match

    Ian Hay

  • In France the party fooled is called un poisson d'avril, 'an April fish'; in Scotland, a 'gowk', or cuckoo.

  • Ye hinnae as muckle o' the Sicht as wad let ye see when Leevie was makin' a gowk o' ye to gar ye hang oot signals for her auld jo.

    Doom Castle

    Neil Munro

  • Late vernal equinoctial gales contemporary with the gowk or cuckoo.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Gowk's-spittle, The frothy matter frequently seen on the leaves of plants, S.


British Dictionary definitions for gowk

gowk

noun Scot and Northern English dialect
  1. a stupid person; fool
  2. a cuckoo
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Word Origin

from Old Norse gaukr cuckoo; related to Old High German gouh
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

Word Origin and History for gowk

n.

"cuckoo," early 14c., from Old Norse gaukr, from Proto-Germanic *gaukoz (cf. Old English geac, Old High German gouh). Meaning "fool" attested from c.1600.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper