Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

GAMF, v., n., adj. Also gamph, gomf, ga(u)mp, gawmp.

I. v. 1. To be foolishly merry (Lnk. 1825 Jam., gamf, gamph), to laugh loudly (Rnf. Ib.). Gall. 1901  Trotter Gall. Gossip 436:
At kirns and weddings kintra clowns, . . . Gamping o'er their namby pambies! . . . Calves as weel might rowt in rhyme.

2. “To mock, to mimic” (Ayr. 1825 Jam., ga(u)mp, gawmp).

II. n. 1. A buffoon, a fool, “an empty fellow who makes a great deal of noisy mirth” (Upp. Lnk., Ayr. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1924 North. Whig (23 Jan.), gamf; Ags., Ayr. 1953); “a fool, or one who wishes to seem so” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 234, gomf). Cf. Gumph, n.1, 1. Abd. 1897  G. Macdonald Salted with Fire xxii.:
He may turn't intil a breid-kist, or what he likes, the gomf!

2. “An idle meddling person” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 218, gamf).

III. adj. Playful, sportive (Jam.2). Sc. 1740  Ramsay T.T.Misc. IV. 381:
She is sae jimp, sae gamp, sae gay, Sae capernoytie, and sae bonny.

[Imit. Cf. Gumph, n.1, v.1, and note to Gam.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Gamf v., n., adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND:

Browse Up
Browse Down