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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GILLY-GAWPUS, n. Also -ga(u)pus, gill(i)egap(o)us. A fool, one who stares stupidly (Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 252; Ags.19 1954); “a tall awkward fellow” (Sc. 1785 F. Grose Dict. Vulgar Tongue, -gaupus). Also gullie-gaupus (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 71). Also attrib.Abd. 1755 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 29:
Syne on a suddenty, our great gillegapous follow o' a coach-man turned o'er our gallant cart.
Ags. 1823 Scots Mag. (June) 683:
Flingin' awa' twa or three pounds for a [grave] stane, made by some gilly-gapus.
Fif. 1823 W. Tennant Card. Beaton 26:
There's the Cardinal's ain lang gilly-gapus dochter, Tibbie Beaton.
Sc. 1874 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 244:
Snuff that candle there; can ye no snuff it, callant, and no stan' gaping there like a gilly-gawpus.

[Gilly-, as in Gilly-gawkie,n., v., adj. + Gawpus, q.v.]

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"Gilly-gawpus n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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