Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Sep 22 02:35:22 UTC 2002

>"Contestants are required to wear a horse collar while they pull their best
>grotesque and extraordinary faces." That, I take it, is a description of
>"gurning." Can anyone tell me more about this wonderful word and its

I presume "gurn" is a variant spelling of "girn" which is essentially a
Scots or Northern metathetic version of "grin" AFAIK. The meaning extends
to "grin", "grimace", "sneer", "snarl", even "gape [open]" figuratively of
clothing, etc. The basic idea is retraction of the lips and display of the
teeth, I believe. Here the meaning is extended to any distortion of the
face, I guess.

-- Doug Wilson

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