"awkward, ungainly," 1759, from gawk hand "left hand" (1703), perhaps a contraction of gaulick, thus "gaulish hand," derogatory slang that could have originated during some period of strained Anglo-French relations, i.e. most of recorded history. Liberman considers it belongs to the group that includes gawk (v.). Related: Gawkily.
updated on February 24, 2015