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n. (context British English) A distorted facial expression. vb. (context British English) to make a grotesque or funny face.


A gurn or chuck, in British English, is a distorted facial expression, and a verb to describe the action. The American English equivalent is "making a face". A typical gurn might involve projecting the lower jaw as far forward and up as possible, and covering the upper lip with the lower lip, though there are other possibilities.

The English Dialect Dictionary, compiled by Joseph Wright, defines the word gurn as "to snarl as a dog; to look savage; to distort the countenance," while the Oxford English Dictionary suggests the derivation may originally be Scottish, related to "grin." In Northern Ireland, the verb "to gurn" means "to cry," and crying is often referred to as "gurnin'." Originally the Scottish dialectical usage refers to a person who is complaining.

Usage examples of "gurn".

The Itekkillykx were a fractious litigious bunch, but the Gurns were the best managed of any on Rallen, high standards of courtesy and competence demanded of all, from the most minor clerks to the High Justicer herself.

As I said before, he visited fifteen Gathers and six Gurns before his presence became known to anyone in authority.

Itekkill Gurns were heavily populated, with a large number of merchant families.

We tried making patterns of killing sites, of dates, of Gurns and Gathers the victims started from.

Their parents and other adults sat in groups, chatting comfortably, exchanging stories of their home Gurns and Gathers, glancing continually at the sky, using that as a kind of punctuation to the talk.

In that genial soup on the grass, Ykx from all classes swirled together, from all Gurns, all parts of the world.