Green’s Dictionary of Slang

gander n.3

[gander v.2 ]

a look, a survey.

[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 36: gander [...] An inquisitorial glance; a searching look; an impertinent gazing or staring. Also the simple act of looking or seeing.
[US]E. Booth Stealing Through Life 257: We better make the lower yard for a quick gander.
[US]W. Winchell ‘On Broadway’ 24 Apr. [synd. col.] Every one of Horace Greeley’s whiskers would have stiffened with horror could he have a gander at Sabbath’s roto in the H-Trib.
[UK]D. Hill ‘Chalky’ in Lehmann Penguin New Writing No. 28 173: We had a gander and there he was, [...] spitting blood and teeth!
[Ire]C. Brown Down All the Days 71: Did you get a gander at what’s in the quartermaster’s stores?
[Aus]W. Ammon et al. Working Lives 115: ‘Did you get a gander at that bottle!’ he exclaimed.
[US](con. 1969) N.L. Russell Suicide Charlie 66: A little while later, our local ‘light bird’ (slang for lieutenant colonel) swooped down for a gander.
[UK]Indep. 17 July 17: Radioman [...] is having a sly gander in the rubbish bin.
[Ire]G. Coughlan Everyday Eng. and Sl. [Internet] Gander (n): a nosey look.
[US]J. Stahl ‘Pure’ in Love Without 161: She [...] pulled them out for a strength-giving gander.
[Aus]me-stepmums-too-fuckin-hot-mate at www.fakku.net [Internet] Have a gander at those massive fuckin’ tits.

In phrases

take a gander (at) (v.) (also cop a gander (at), shoot a gander (at))

(orig. US) to look at, to glance at.

[US]Salt Lake Trib. (UT) 27 Nov. 4/3: Say, just take a gander at them mitts. Do they look like I was a vag?
[UK]D. Lowrie My Life in Prison 152: He’d mosey off an’ take a gander t’ see if th’ string was still there.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Romance in the Roaring Forties’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 24: I am taking many a gander around the bedroom. [Ibid.] ‘The Old Doll’s House’ 71: The old doll takes a gander at Lance.
[US]S. McBarron ‘Coffin Custodian’ Ten Detective Aces Apr. [Internet] I shot another gander at the shrivelled, evidently hopped-up monkey cuddled over a highball glass.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Dead Don’t Dream’ in Hollywood Detective July [Internet] I copped a gander, saw where the nails had gone through the thinning threads.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 115: All you have to do is take a quick gander and you can see he is from Dixie in B Flat. [Ibid.] 273: Want to take a gander at this stuff?
[US]J.M. Cain Moth (1950) 171: We didn’t [...] stop to take long ganders.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 49/2: Cop a gander. To glance furtively. ‘Cop a gander when the mark (intended victim) stashes (hides) the dough.’.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit 114: Like a governess taking a gander at the new pupil.
[US]C. Himes Real Cool Killers (1969) 43: Go ’head and take a gander at the avenue.
[US]Mad mag. Sept. 20: Take a gander at that redhead.
[UK]A.E. Farrell Vengeance 74: Take a gander at this, Bob.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Yarns of Billy Borker 148: Take a gander at me right wing, feathers falling out of it, a man must be moulting.
[US]M. Braly It’s Cold Out There (2005) 194: There’s lots of bastards never knew how well off they were till they copped a gander at me.
[US]San Diego Sailor 30: I took a gander at the sergeant.
[UK]F. Norman Dead Butler Caper 10: Don’t you want to go inside and take a gander at the corpus delicti?
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 77: Thought you might want to take a gander at these.
[Can](con. 1920s) O.D. Brooks Legs 100: Go take a gander and see for yourself.
A. Goldfein Europe’s Macadam – America’s Tar 134: And next time you’re in Europe, cop a gander at the magazine racks in kiosks and train stations.
K.C. Finney 3D Game Programming All in One 316: Zoom in using the navigation keys and take a gander at the buggy chassis.
[Aus]S. Maloney Sucked In 41: I took a quick gander at the original newspaper reports.
[US]E. Beetner ‘Zed’s Dead, Baby’ in Pulp Ink [ebook] You mind if I take a gander next door?