from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An awkward, loutish person; an oaf.
- intransitive v. To stare or gape stupidly. See Synonyms at gaze.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a cuckoo
- n. a fool
- n. a simpleton, stupid or clumsy person.
- v. To stare or gape stupidly
- v. To stare conspicuously.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A cuckoo.
- n. A simpleton; a booby; a gawky.
- intransitive v. To act like a gawky.
- intransitive v. To stare with empty-minded fascination; to stare stupidly; to gape; -- usually used with at.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A cuckoo. [Scotch and North. Eng.] — 2. A stupid, awkward fellow; a fool; a simpleton; a booby. Also gawky.
- To act like a gawk; go about awkwardly; look like a fool.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an awkward stupid person
- v. look with amazement; look stupidly
Perhaps alteration (influenced by gawk hand, left hand) of obsolete gaw, to gape, from Middle English gawen, from Old Norse gā, to heed.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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. (Wiktionary)
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. (Wiktionary)
Perhaps from Old Norse gá ("to heed"). (Wiktionary)