Gawks vs Lawks - What's the difference?
As a verb gawks
As an interjection lawks is
lord! (especially as an expression of surprise
From a variant of gowk, from (etyl) gowke, from (etyl) . More at (l).
A Middle-Appalachian Americanism, since late 1800s, possibly misconstruing French "gauche," and leading to use of adj gawky for a person or process that is uncoordinated or awkward.
a simpleton, stupid or clumsy person.
Perhaps from (etyl) .
To stare or gape stupidly
To stare conspicuously.
Lord! (especially as an expression of surprise)
* 1850 , , La Vendée :
* 1988 , :
- "Lawks ! how uncomfortable," said the cook. "And M. Henri, was he wet too?"
- "Your civic pride does you credit," said Hwel. "And now, please, leave the cart. I'm sure you've got some wood to gather. Lawks ."
This is a stereotypical utterance of a Cockney house-servant in literature, particularly 19th-century and early 20th-century literature, but by the end of the 20th century its use had become primarily ironic outside of historical fiction.
* Lord, lordy
* dear Lord