One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An awkward or foolish person (often as a general term of abuse)
idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clodView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘You can find a gowk and send him off to get an unobtainable item (like striped paint or a one-ended stick).’
Middle English (in gowk (sense 2)): from Old Norse gaukr.
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