gow·​pen | \ ˈgəu̇pən \
plural -s

Definition of gowpen

1 chiefly Scottish
a : the hollow of two hands held together as if forming a bowl
b or less commonly gowpenful \ -​ˌfü(l) \ plural gowpenfuls : a double handful gathered a gowpenful of flinty arrowheads— John Service
2 Scots law : the perquisite of meal from tenants by thirlage that is allowed to a miller's servant

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History and Etymology for gowpen

Middle English goupyne, from Old Norse gaupn (in plural only) cupped hand; akin to Old High German coufana hand, Old English gēap open, wide, gōma palate

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Cite this Entry

“Gowpen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gowpen. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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