gaumless vs gormless what difference

what is difference between gaumless and gormless



  • (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /ˈɡɔːm.ləs/


gaumless (not comparable)

  1. (dialectal) Alternative spelling of gormless
    • 1835, Derwentwater, in The new British Novelist:
      “What could put secna gaumless notion as that into yer heed?” “A gaumless notion!” iterated Spour, putting on a look of sincerity offended.
    • 1872, John Hartley, Yorkshire ditties, series 1 (reprint), page 126:
      [] an’ shoo held up a bonny little lad abaat two days old, ‘at stared at him as gaumless as gaumless could be, []

Usage notes

Gaumless is the original spelling; gormless, which has become more common especially in non-rhotic dialects, uses r to indicate vowel length.


Alternative forms

  • gaumless, gawmless


From dialectal English gaum (heed, attention) +‎ -less (without), from Old Norse gaum, from Proto-Germanic *gaumaz, *gaumō (heed, attention). The ‘r’ found in this spelling is a vowel-lengthening device common in non-rhotic dialects of English.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɡɔːmləs/


gormless (comparative more gormless, superlative most gormless)

  1. (chiefly Britain and Australia, of a person) Lacking intelligence, sense or understanding; foolish.


  • (lacking intelligence): dull, slow, stupid; inexperienced, naive

Derived terms

  • gormlessly, gormlessness


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