Main definitions of gowk in English

: gowk1gowk2

gowk1

noun

Scottish, Northern English
  • 1An awkward or foolish person (often used as a general term of abuse).

    • ‘You can find a gowk and send him off to get an unobtainable item (like striped paint or a one-ended stick).’
    • ‘The victim of a joke is known in English as an April Fool; in Scots as a gowk (cuckoo or fool); and in French as a poisson d' avril.’
    idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
    View synonyms
  • 2A cuckoo.

Origin

Middle English (in gowk (sense 2)): from Old Norse gaukr.

Pronunciation

gowk

/ɡaʊk/

Main definitions of gowk in English

: gowk1gowk2

gowk2

(also goke)

noun

Northern English
  • An apple core.

    ‘I leave the gowk —don't want an apple tree growing inside me’
    ‘I found an apple gowk in my coat pocket’

Origin

Early 19th century: origin uncertain.

Pronunciation

gowk

/ɡaʊk/