Tennishead Top 10 Gurners


Originally published on: 26/02/10 14:12

Five (not very) fascinating gurning facts

1. The English Dialect Dictionary defines the word gurn as ‘to snarl as a dog; to look savage; to distort the countenance’, so it’s no surprise that the world’s best tennis players are at it. After all, there’s a fair amount of snarling and savagery in professional tennis these days.

2. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests the derivation may originally be Scottish, related to the word ‘grin’. (So we thought we should include Jamie Murray.)

3. Gurning contests are an old English tradition and were once common at travelling sideshows, fairs and freak shows.

4. The World Gurning Championships is still held annually in Egremont, Cumbria, as part of the Egremont Crab Fair. What? Crabs?

5. Its said that the greatest gurners are those with no teeth, so our collection of entrants still have a while to wait before they can compete with the worlds best. In some cases the elderly or toothless can be capable of spectacular gurns covering the entire nose, although in Steffi Graf’s case we think this would simply not be possible.

Now see how the experts do it

The World Gurning Championships Photo Gallery


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.