- look away
Origin of Gawk
Perhaps alteration (influenced by gawk awkward person) of obsolete gaw to gape from Middle English gawen from Old Norse gā to heed N., probably from English dialectal gawk left (as in gawk hand left hand)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
From a variant of gowk, from Middle English gowke, from Old Norse gaukr (“cuckoo”), from Proto-Germanic *gaukaz (“cuckoo”). Cognate with Danish gøg, Swedish gök, German Gauch, Old English ġēac. More at yeke.
A Middle-Appalachian Americanism, since late 1800s, possibly misconstruing French "gauche," and leading to use of adj gawky for a person or process that is uncoordinated or awkward.
Perhaps from Old Norse gá (“to heed”).
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