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Thread: What does "gleek" mean here?

  1. #1
    Always curious. juniper's Avatar
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    What does "gleek" mean here?

    I was reading a story in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine last night and came across this word "gleek" twice within two pages, used as a verb.

    The first time I skimmed by it, but the second time I decided to look it up. Two definitions come up on Google:

    1. (verb) from Wikipedia, under general term "spitting": "In general, gleeking occurs when an accumulation of saliva in the submandibular gland is propelled out in a stream when the gland is compressed by the tongue." Yech. I found other similar definitions in online dictionaries.

    2. (noun) from a variety of sources: a fan of the tv show "Glee."

    Neither of these seems to be right in the sentences. I hope it's ok to quote them:

    "Savary tapped down his black sunglasses and gleeked the men on the loading dock."

    and on next page

    "Jodie gleeked him over her cat-eyed sunglasses."


    The first time I thought it meant something like "squinted at." When I saw it again on the very next page, it bugged me something fierce. What a strange word, to be used twice in a short story, close together.

    So, can anyone help me figure out the meaning of "gleek" as used in those sentences?
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  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW
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    Urban dictionary says it means hocking a spit at someone, so the first one makes sense, the second one not so much.

    It may be an error the second one.

  3. #3
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. AW Moderator Torgo's Avatar
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    From context, it's got to mean 'to take a peek at'. Though I know gleek (n) as a golf club.

  4. #4
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    The only way I've heard it is that involuntary, tiny saliva waterfall you sometimes do when you yawn. Some middle school boys knew how to make themselves do it, unfortunately.
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  5. #5
    They've been very bad, Mr Flibble Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    My dictionary notes this (And the freeonlinedictionary agrees broadly)

    1.

    1.A jest or scoff; a trick or deception.Where's the Bastard's braves, and Charles his gleeks ?- Shak.


    2.An enticing look or glance.A pretty gleek coming from Pallas' eye.- Beau. & Fl.

    Verbing a noun doesn't seem beyond possibility - we do it all the time.


    An interesting word. I may have to see where I can squeeze it in




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  6. #6
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    From Romeo & Juliet: "No money, on my faith ; but the gleek : I will give you the minstrel"

    (It apparently means 'joke' in that context)

    ---
    A reference from the 1940s:

    "On every one of his continual surprise visits to Glen Cuach, the good earnest man, determined to catch his victim in crime, gleeked into the very mouseholes, searching pretext for reprimand and Report."

    Perhaps 'gleeked' = 'peeked' ?

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  7. #7
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    Looks like a portmanteau of glance and peek?

  8. #8
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    If you believe the announcer, then it was invented to describe fans of the show Glee.
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  9. #9
    resident curmudgeon
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    I've alwasy thought the modern definition meant a curious or enticing look. I do know an archaic meaning is to joke. I've never heard the saliva aspect.

  10. #10
    Let's see what's on special today.. Bufty's Avatar
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    If I read it in a novel I would have to look it up. Never heard of it.
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  11. #11
    Whatever I did, I didn't do it. Phaeal's Avatar
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    Ahem. Here are the proper readings of the aforementioned sentences:

    "Savary tapped down his black sunglasses and gleeked the men on the loading dock" =

    Savary tapped down his black sunglasses and belted out a stirring rendition of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" for the men on the loading dock.


    "Jodie gleeked him over her cat-eyed sunglasses" =

    Jodie threw herself into a Lady Gaga pose and crooned him "Born This Way" over her cat-eyed sunglasses.

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  12. #12
    Tell it like it Is Susan Littlefield's Avatar
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    Well, since the character's sunglasses were involved each time, I would think it's curious looks he's throwing out. It would be too weird to tap down your sunglasses and spit, or even spit over the sunglasses.
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  13. #13
    Flying blind on a rocket cycle.
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    Huh. I had no idea it had another meaning beyond involuntarily spraying spit from under your tongue.

  14. #14
    Always curious. juniper's Avatar
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    More on this unusual word (may be overload but now I'm intrigued):

    If you want visuals on gleeking (the spitting version) - pics and a video.
    http://www.wikihow.com/Gleek

    Gleek is also a DC Comics blue space monkey. http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Gleek_(Super_Friends)

    Also was a 16th century card game, first mentioned in a 1522 English translation of a 1511 French piece: http://www.davidparlett.co.uk/histocs/gleek.html

    With stoole and with needyl she was not to seeke,
    And other practiseinges for ladyes meete,
    [But] To pastyme at tables, tick tacke, or gleeke,
    Cardis and dyce


    Curiously, the freedictionary.com site is the only one I found that equates "gleek" with any type of glance or eye movement. It also has definitions of scoff, sneer, spend time idly, and mentions the card game, but does not say anything about spitting.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Gleek

    Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as (archaic) gibe or joke.
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gleek
    which goes along with dictionary.com's definition.

    And I still think it's weird for this word to be used twice within two small pages of a short story. I lost interest in the story and only read a couple of more pages, so don't know if it was used again later or not.
    Last edited by juniper; 11-14-2012 at 11:32 PM.
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    Benefactor Member Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Funny. We always called the spitting thing "gleeting" rather than gleeking here. I have trouble imagining that these characters are pushing their sunglasses down and squirting saliva at one another like a pair of kid brothers though. From the context, it almost sounds like a word that means to check out an attractive member of the opposite sex (or the same sex), depending on one's inclinations.

    Strange an editor would let something that's not in common use (especially in a modern setting) through without more clarification.
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  16. #16
    Every chase begins with... Chase's Avatar
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    My new oath for all occassions: "Well, I'll be gleeked!"

    ASL has a sign for spit but none yet for gleek, so I'll have to fingerspell that part until the deafies I know can invent a working variation.

  17. #17
    Not responsible for bitten fingers Shadow_Ferret's Avatar
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    Weird. I'd never ever heard the word until it was used in connection with the show to mean a dork who likes Glee.
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  18. #18
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    The first time I heard "gleek" was in relation to the blue monkey on "SuperFriends". The next was describing fans of the show "Glee". I've never heard it used in conjunction with spitting so that definition doesn't exist. I have declared it thus.
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  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW ComicBent's Avatar
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    gleek, gleet

    People, people ... The dictionary is your friend. Webster's Third International Dictionary.

    Mr. Flibble and Roxxsmom answered this question for you.

    The word gleek is a glance. The word is archaic now, but you know how that is. Sometimes authors resurrect ancient words. And sometimes an ancient word has at least a ghost still lurking in a dialect. The authors in question used gleek as a verb (based on the noun) to mean glance. By the way, gleek also means a joke, as some people pointed out above, though that is not the meaning that the original poster was asking about. The character Bottom in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream uses gleek in the sense of joke early in the play.

    And the whole thing about gleek in the meaning of spit or saliva ... somebody got confused or the word became corrupted (like vomick instead of vomit). The similar word for spit is gleet, not gleek.
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  20. #20
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Be careful: Gleet is more commonly the purulent discharge caused by gonorrhea.

  21. #21
    And now, back to Plotting! Duncan J Macdonald's Avatar
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    Which would certainly cause one to gleek askance.
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  22. #22
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Gleek fore ye tumble lest ye be gleeted.
    Last edited by James D. Macdonald; 12-19-2012 at 09:38 AM.

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW
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    We always used gleek in the spitting context in middle school, back in the day. It was more like propelling a stream of saliva through the front teeth by compressing the tongue than actual spitting.

  24. #24
    The Appleton House ccarver30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    The first time I heard "gleek" was in relation to the blue monkey on "SuperFriends". The next was describing fans of the show "Glee". I've never heard it used in conjunction with spitting so that definition doesn't exist. I have declared it thus.


    I know the spitting term- my husband says that. My generation says "yang" for the same type of spitting.

  25. #25
    Hello? Eat my tarts? johnhallow's Avatar
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    Hm, I think spraying that stuff out of under your tongue is "gleaking", not "gleeking". Not entirely sure though.
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