What does gaper mean?

Definitions for gaper
ˈgeɪ pərgaper

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word gaper.

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  1. gapernoun

    One who gapes; a starer.

  2. gapernoun

    A fish, taxonomic name Serranus cabrilla.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Gapernoun

    Etymology: from gape.

    The golden shower of the dissolved abbey-lands rained well near into every gaper ’s mouth. Richard Carew, Survey of Cornwal.


  1. Gaper

    A gaper (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣaːpər]) is a stone or wooden figurehead, often depicting a Moor, Muslim, or North African. The figurehead first appeared in the late 16th century as a hangout sign used outside the storefronts of drug stores in the Netherlands. The meaning of gaper is the same in English; the figurehead is always displayed with an open mouth, sometimes with a pill resting on his tongue. The gaper's gaping tongue could represent the intake of medicine and grimace represents the bitter taste of the medicine. The gaper takes on various appearances that are symbolic of the origin for the pharmacist’s practice or medicinal ingredients. There are stories of the gaper as a symbol of the pharmacist’s traveling "quack" or helper. Recently, gaper figureheads have been stolen or removed from storefronts. Now, few remain within public view in the city of Amsterdam. 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.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Gapernoun

    one who gapes

  2. Gapernoun

    a European fish. See 4th Comber

  3. Gapernoun

    a large edible clam (Schizothaerus Nuttalli), of the Pacific coast; -- called also gaper clam

  4. Gapernoun

    an East Indian bird of the genus Cymbirhynchus, related to the broadbills


  1. Gaper

    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.

Anagrams for gaper »

  1. grape

  2. pager

  3. parge

How to pronounce gaper?

How to say gaper in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of gaper in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of gaper in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

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"gaper." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 May 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/gaper>.

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