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I was sitting at the card table this evening looking gormless (as I am wont to do) when it occurred to me to wonder, are the other players gormful? Is there such a word? Is there such a thing as gorm, that one can either have or lack?

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Given its derivation from gorm/gaum, one might be able to say "gormful", but the version "have gorm" seems more acceptable (and was afaik also once regularly used). –  Suvrit Dec 31 '10 at 16:17
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

According to merriam-webster.com, "gormless" does indeed mean "lacking in gorm", which was originally the middle-English word "gaum" or "gome", meaning "understanding, or attention". I would have to say that "gorm" as its own word has fallen out of the modern lexicon, though, and is not at all likely to be understood. (Hopefully someone who can do searches of the Corpus of English Language Texts or the like can provide extra information....)

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Nor have I ever found gormful in a dictionary, but people usually recognize the intent. I use it only in informal situations. –  dmckee Dec 30 '10 at 23:20
    
The OED knows no adjective that begins with "gorm-" and means the opposite of "gormless". –  Cerberus Dec 31 '10 at 1:22
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@Cerberus Why oh why is gormandize already taken? –  tchrist Aug 14 '12 at 21:21
    
If you’re going to go with a whimsical coinage, why not gorm-packed? Too much? –  Jason Orendorff Aug 14 '12 at 22:59
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Enlightened would be a good antonym for this, as the other answers suggest that Gaum means 'understanding'. Someone full of understanding is enlightened.

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