One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An idle spectator.
- ‘Alan Lindley, an eighth-generation lock keeper working on the Grand Canal, has been dealing with gongoozlers and boatmen for more than 20 years.’
- ‘The area is thus ideal for tourists, as well as for gongoozlers.’
- ‘We will turn at Foxton and ascend the wonderful staircase locks, always a popular spot for gongoozlers.’
- ‘Fradley is a very popular location for both boaters and gongoozlers and moorings can often be very difficult to find.’
- ‘Cowley lock had a sprinkling of gongoozlers as we started the ascent of the canal which only finishes atop the Chiltern Escarpment at Tring.’
Early 20th century (originally denoting a person who idly watched activity on a canal); rare before 1970: perhaps from Lincolnshire dialect gawn and gooze ‘stare, gape’.
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