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Gape

(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
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