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gormless (GORM-lis) adjective, also gaumless

Dull or stupid.

[From English dialectal gaum (attention or understanding), from Middle English gome, from Old Norse gaumr.]

"For my parents, though, it was compulsory viewing. They would sit on the settee making appreciative or derogatory noises about one or another contestant and bitterly denouncing the judges when Miss England failed to get a placing - even if Miss England was a gormless, whey-faced hag, which quite often she was." Rod Liddle; The Ugly Side of Miss World; The Guardian (London); Nov 26, 2002.

"As the movie's gormless hero, Spacey inverts his usual glib persona. But there's something mannered about his minimalism. He creates a character so deliberately vacant and slow-witted that, behind the concave performance, the armature of intelligence shows through." Brian D Johnson; Bumping Into Neverland; Maclean's (Toronto, Canada); Dec 31, 2001/Jan 7, 2002.

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