they just don’t make words like they used to

gongoozler: “originally, an idler who stares at length at activity on a canal; hence more widely, a person who stares protractedly at anything.”

How can you not love the specificity of that first definition: stares at length at activity on a canal. Not, you know, just any kind of activity. Activity on a canal. Either canal activity was right riveting back in the early 1900s or life ran short on more gripping entertainments.

I was pleased to see, however, that “gongoozler” in its more general sense held on at least until the 1980s, when it made an appearance The New Yorker. Of course The New Yorker. Where else but The New Yorker? “I stopped off in the Galeana sports park..to watch a game on one of three huge outdoor screens that the city had supplied for gongoozlers like me.”

All this from the OED WOTD

http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/243201

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