Etymology
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gander (v.)

"take a long look," slang, 1886, from gander (n.) on the notion of craning one's neck like a goose; earlier it meant "to wander foolishly" (1680s). Related: Gandered; gandering.

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gander (n.)

Old English gandra "male goose," from Proto-Germanic *gan(d)ron (source also of Dutch gander, Middle Low German ganre), from PIE *ghans- "goose" (see goose (n.)). OED suggests perhaps it was originally the name of some other water-bird and cites Lithuanian gandras "stork." Sometimes used 19c. in reference to single men or male-only gatherings (compare stag). Meaning "a long look" is 1912, from gander (v.).

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gaunt (adj.)

"lean and haggard," from or as if from hunger, mid-15c. (as a surname from mid-13c.), of uncertain origin; perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse gand "a thin stick," also "a tall thin man") and somehow connected with the root of gander. Connection also has been suggested to Old French jaunet "yellowish" [The Middle English Compendium].

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stag (n.)

late 12c., probably from Old English stagga "a stag," from Proto-Germanic *stag-, from PIE root *stegh- "to stick, prick, sting." The Old Norse equivalent was used of male foxes, tomcats, and dragons; and the Germanic root word perhaps originally meant "male animal in its prime."

Adjectival meaning "pertaining to or composed of males only" (as in stag party) is American English slang from 1848. Compare bull-dance, slang for one performed by men only (1845); gander (n.) also was used in the same sense. Stag film "pornographic movie" is attested from 1968. Stag beetle, so called for its" horns," is from 1680s.

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gannet (n.)

Old English ganot, name of a kind of sea-bird, from Proto-Germanic *ganton- (source also of Dutch gent, Middle High German ganiz, Old High German ganazzo "a gander"), from PIE *ghans- "a goose" (see goose (n.)). Old French gante is from Germanic.

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