One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A space formed by both hands cupped together to form a bowl.‘he had a guinea pig in his gowpen’
- ‘I was in the cooking lab cupping pieces of marinated fish in my gowpen and getting the oil ready to fry them.’
- 1.1 A quantity that fills both hands cupped together.‘a gowpen of the sugar’
- ‘He plunged his hand into his pocket, and brought out a gowpen of coins.’
- ‘He took a gowpen of his own double chins, hoisting his head erect.’
- ‘She took three gowpens of water and carried them home in her pail.’
- ‘Before you even peek in the considering glass, take a gowpen of water and throw it over your face.’
- ‘You come here with a very singular story, and nowt to back it but a glib tongue and your smooth, innocent-like young face—and you go back hame with a heaped gowpen of gold.’
Middle English: from Old Norse gaupn, from Old High German.
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