Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GAAN, v. Also ga(w)n. To stare, gaze vacantly or with open mouth (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.; Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 151, gan, 1929 Marw., Sh., Ork.5 1953); to peer, look intently (Sh. 1901 T. P. Ollason Mareel 80, gawn), to crane the neck, staring vacantly (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); to stare insolently (Ib., Ork.1 1944, gan). [gɑ:n] Sh. 1882  Gentleman's Mag. 361:
“A cat gaanin i' da lift,” that is, looking into the sky, foretells wind.
Ork. 1908  Old-Lore Misc. I. vi. 223:
Patie steud ganan at 'im a peerie meenit.
Sh. 1914  Angus Gl. s.v. air:
Whartu is du staandin gaanin up idda air lek a moniment?
Sh. 1949  J. Gray Lowrie 20:
I just turned me hed an' gaand at a pikter apo da waa.

[Norw. dial. gana, to stretch the neck, Sw. dial. gana, to stand gaping; O.N. gana, to gaze, stare.]

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"Gaan v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Feb 2019 <>



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