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WotD: Just looking - Brit Speak — LiveJournal

About WotD: Just looking

Previous Entry WotD: Just looking Apr. 20th, 2004 @ 04:36 pm Next Entry
I've been doing a lot of research today ... looking things up, so to speak ... so after the most tenuous link in history, I bring you today's WotD ....


gander
Noun.
1 A male goose
2. (slang) A look (used only in the expression to have a gander), originally Brit.
criminal slang


Gander as slang for look derives from early cockney rhyming slang (when it was still the slang of criminals). It refers to the stretching or bending of the neck of a male goose as he looks around. Actually, there is a verb to gander (mid 17th Century) which originally meant "to wander aimlessly or with a foolish air like that of a gander". It was only later that it took on the "look" meaning, and the noun gander that was formed from the verb means "a look or glance".


Suggested usage: ."Will you have a gander at my job application letter, and check it for spelling mistakes?"
Also used in the diminutive goosey


goosey Noun. A look. Abbreviated form of the title of the nursery rhyme Goosey Goosey Gander, making use of the word 'gander', being slang for a look.
e.g."Let's have a goosey at the timetable and work out which is the best train to get to London


Now I'm off to have a gander at my friends list.

Toodle pip.
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From:bwinter
Date:April 20th, 2004 10:10 am (UTC)
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Strangely, I've often heard my British friends use it as "take a gander". Wonder if it's a regional variation or sumfink.
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From:indiana_jane_
Date:April 20th, 2004 11:19 am (UTC)
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Been following this community for a bit and am always surprised to find words that I never considered Britspeak because they are so commmonly used around here. Here being Western Canada.

We use gander. However 'take a gander' not 'have a gander' which sounds somewhat off to me.
From:ex_vanillaco754
Date:April 20th, 2004 11:28 am (UTC)
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I've tried to post slang words that are British in origin ... when looking at slang dictionaries there are many references to British slang that has been assimilated into normal speech in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

I tend to post words that have my US colleagues mystified whenever I use them :)

I just had a look at 'take a gander' in the only slang dictionary I have a home and it appears 'take' is commonly used north of London.
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From:indiana_jane_
Date:April 20th, 2004 11:42 am (UTC)
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I wonder why it is that so much British slang has been assimilated into Canadian speech. It's not as though there is a whole lot of culture contact between us. At least not to the level of current Canadian-American culture contact. Almost all TV, film and music in Canada is an American export.

Unless a lot of the assimilation happened years ago when there was a lot more contact.

As someone currently taking linguistic courses I think it would be a fun research project. *is a dork* ;)
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From:indiana_jane_
Date:April 20th, 2004 11:43 am (UTC)
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Oh and thank you for your reply :)

From:maymorning
Date:April 20th, 2004 12:49 pm (UTC)
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Oh come on, I've never heard of goosey being used like that! (And it's not even friday!) To goose someone is to pinch them, not look at them! (Unless you Londoners have a strange use of the word that hasn't reached the mountains and forests of south Wales just yet.)
From:ex_vanillaco754
Date:April 20th, 2004 11:33 pm (UTC)
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Ah but it's true ... goosey is actually the cockney rhyming slang equivalent of gander which is slang anyhow ... and now I'm lost in the mire of insane cockney logic :)
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