Spook vs Gook - What's the difference?

spook | gook |

As nouns the difference between spook and gook

is that spook is a spirit returning to haunt a place while gook is (slang|vulgar|pejorative|offensive|ethnic slur) a person from the far east, oceania or southeast asia, in particular a vietnamese, filipino, chinese, korean person or gook can be (informal) grime or mud.

As a verb spook

is to scare or frighten.




(en noun)
  • A spirit returning to haunt a place.
  • The visit to the old cemetery brought scary visions of spooks and ghosts.
  • A ghost or an apparition.
  • The building was haunted by a couple of spooks .
  • A hobgoblin.
  • (espionage) A spy.
  • * 2009 , "Spies like them", BBC News Magazine (online), 24 July 2009:
  • From Ian Fleming to John Le Carre - authors have long been fascinated by the world of espionage. But, asks the BBC’s Gordon Corera, what do real life spooks make of fictional spies?
  • * 2012 , The Economist, Oct 13th 2012, Huawei and ZTE: Put on hold
  • The congressional study frets that Huawei’s and ZTE’s products could be used as Trojan horses by Chinese spooks .
  • A scare or fright.
  • The big spider gave me a spook .
  • (dated, pejorative) A black person.
  • Synonyms

    * See also


    (en verb)
  • To scare or frighten.
  • To startle or frighten an animal
  • The movement in the bushes spooked the deer and they ran.

    Derived terms

    * spookiness * spookish * spook out * spooky

    See also



    * ----



    Etymology 1

    Use traced to U.S. Marines in Philippines in early 20th century. Dictionary.com]Pearson, Kim, "[http://kpearson.faculty.tcnj.edu/Dictionary/gook.htm Gook". Earliest recorded example is dated 1920.Seligman, Herbert J., " The Conquest of Haiti", The Nation, July 10, 1920. * Folk etymology suggests that during the Korean War, young Korean children would point at U.S. soldiers and shout ", guk) itself simply means "country". This explanation ignores the fact that there are many examples of the word's use that pre-date the Korean War.


    (en noun)
  • (slang, vulgar, pejorative, offensive, ethnic slur) A person from the Far East, Oceania or Southeast Asia, in particular a Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese, Korean person.
  • Usage notes
    * In the US, gook refers particularly to a Vietnamese person in the context of the Vietnam War, and particularly to the Viet Cong. It is generally considered highly offensive, on a par with nigger.

    Etymology 2

    Possible blend of goop and gunk.


    (en noun)
  • (informal) Grime or mud.
  • * {{quote-book, 1983, Len O'Connor, A Reporter in Sweet Chicago, isbn=0809276488 citation
  • , passage="Roost No More" was a yellow gook that Joe's people would spread around, for a fee, on the ledges of houses and commercial buildings plagued by pigeons.}}
    Derived terms
    * gooky * gook up

    See also

    * gook wagon