Take a gander

The phrase take a gander is an idiom that originated in the United States. An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the expression take a gander, where it comes from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To take a gander means to look at something, to get a peek at something, to peruse something. Take a gander may mean to look at something briefly or to take a long, thorough look. A gander is a male goose, but the word gander came into use as a verb in England in the 1880s, to mean to look at something. The idea behind the idiom is that a gander is always looking about, twisting and turning his long neck, keeping an eye out for trouble in defense of his mate. During the 1910s, the phrase take a gander came into use in the United States. Related phrases are takes a gander, took a gander, taking a gander.


Thousands of people are expected to come and take a gander at antique tractors, guns, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, lawn mowers, trailers, farm equipment and more than 1,500 other items to be auctioned off today starting at 9 a.m. at the Belvoir Volunteer Fire Department, 4189 N.C. 33 West. (The Greenville Daily Reflector)

I picked up the newspaper outside my hotel door Friday morning — OK, outside my neighbors’ door — poured a hot cup of Americana — that’s what they call the coffee that I can actually drink down here — and took a gander for what rattles the collective cages of the Aussies, whom I will be living amongst for a fortnight or so. (The Henry Herald)

Whenever Airbus tests its Project Vahana vehicle, people gather at the windows of the restaurant to take a gander at the air taxi. (The East Oregonian)

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