Definitions for gaperˈgeɪ pər
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word gaper
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a person or thing that gapes.
a large clam, Tresus capax, common on gravelly beaches.
Origin of gaper:
One who gapes; a starer.
A fish, taxonomic name Serranus cabrilla.
one who gapes
a European fish. See 4th Comber
a large edible clam (Schizothaerus Nuttalli), of the Pacific coast; -- called also gaper clam
an East Indian bird of the genus Cymbirhynchus, related to the broadbills
A gaper is a stone or wooden head, often depicting a Moor, on the front of a building in the Netherlands. It was used to indicate that this building is a pharmacy. The literal translation of gaper would be yawner; the figure is always displayed with an open mouth, and sometimes you can see a pill he has taken resting on his tongue. In fact he wasn't yawning, but opening his mouth to take medicine. The existing "gapers" in Amsterdam are almost all of Moorish appearance but this wasn't supposed to be the forefather of today's pharmacist but rather to indicate the exotic origin of the medicines. The apothecary would attend market days all over the country and his assistant would play the character of an ill man. After taking the pill, the assistant would all of a sudden feel much better and perform a dance. Later, when pharmacists opened shops instead of travelling through the country, the symbol of the Moorish man would tell the illiterate audience that this was the home of a pharmacist. Nowadays these symbols are rare, outside museum collections, fewer than 50 can be seen on buildings, some have now lent their names to cafes such as de vergulde Gaper in Amsterdam.
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