(g hard). Looking for gapeseed. Gaping about and
doing nothing, A corruption of “Looking a-gapesing;” gapesing
is staring about with one's mouth open. A-gapesing and a-trapesing
are still used in Norfolk.
Seeking a gape's nest.
(Devonshire.) A gape's nest is a sight which people stare at
with wide-open mouth. The word “nest” was used in a much wider sense
formerly than it is now. Thus we read of a “nest of shelves,” a “nest
of thieves,” a “cosy nest.” A gape's nest is the nest or place where
anything stared at is to be found.
(See Mare's Nest.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894