Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GOWK, v.2, n.2 Also gouk. [gʌuk]

I. v. To gaze, to stare idly or foolishly (Ags. 1808 Jam., gouk; Cai. 1900 E.D.D.; Bnff.4 1927; Ags., Per. 1955). Also in Cum. dial. Cf. Gawk, v., 2. Abd. 1835  Abd. Shaver (Jan.) 128:
Canna ye mak a better use o' your een than goukin' after the Ellon dandy?
Sc.(E) 1868  D. M. Ogilvy Willie Wabster 9:
And Wabster ay ahint him gouket.
Mearns 1932  “L. G. Gibbon” Sunset Song 24:
You couldn't so much as change your sark without some ill-fashioned brute gowking in at you.
Per. 1933  W. Soutar Seeds in the Wind 37:
Lang, lang, I gowkit thru the trees Nor livin thing saw I.

II. n. A vacant stare (Bnff.12 c.1860).

[O.Sc. has gowk, gouk, to stare, from c.1470. Of uncertain origin, but cf. Gowk, n.1, v.1, and note, and Gawk, v., 2.]

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"Gowk v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jun 2019 <>



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