Words: gormless, adj.

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The Independent Online
DISCRETION VEILS the occasion when an utterance was deemed gormless but, at the same time, there came to mind puzzlement about the gorm that is apparently lacking.

Gorm is a variant of the Northern dialect gome, for head or notice, which goes back to Old English, with various Teutonic parallels - and not to be muddled with gome which meant both God and man (as in bridegroom). Bridget Jones, then, is doubly gormless.

A gorm, without the less, also means fool, a sense from the beginning of the century, and goes back to the 17th-century verb for staring vacantly - and not to be confused with the American college word gorm, from gormandise, for a voracious eater, absent from the OED. All of which leaves us less gormless.

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