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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Knok, v. Also: Knokk-, knock, cnock, (knak). [ME. knokke, knocke, knoke, early cnokien, late OE. cnocian (11th c.) beside cnucian, ON. knoka.]

1. intr. To rap, knock (as on a door to gain admittance or as a signal); to knock at, on or upon a door etc., also for something; also fig.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xlvii. 89.
A takine … ves, as he suld knok withine To draw fast suld thai begyne
c1420 Wynt. viii. 5184.
Thare knokide he Wyth-owte the dure all prewaly
a1540 Freiris Berw. 232 (M).
Sche … leit him knok thairout his fill
a1578 Pitsc. I. 361/27.
The King inquyrit quho it was that knokit so fast till inquyit him fre his rest
(2) 1375 Barb. ii. 59.
Than knokyt thai at his chamur thar
a1400 Leg. S. iii. 1005.
With his hand He knokit faste apon the ȝet
a1500 Seven S. 1080.
Meikly at the dure scho knokit [: lokit]
a1578 Pitsc. I. 325/31.
The baillȝie … knokit at George challmer doore and waknit him
1576 Reg. Privy C. II. 552.
[He] past to the castell of Bredik … and knoking at the yet thairof [etc.]
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 796.
With his knockles he on them [shoes] knockit
1619 Rec. Univ. Aberd. 279.
The saidis commissioneris … causing knok sum space at the said yett [etc.]
(3) fig. 1562-3 Winȝet I. 61/12.
Sa grete is the guidnes of God to knok at the breist of man
Ib. II. 68/5.
Albeit thai seik it nocht, ask it nocht, nor ȝit knok thairfor

b. To knock (six times, also thrice), and c. tr. To knock (six knocks): see Knok n.2 2 b. 1559 Admir. Ct. Bk. 95.
I … warnit … Johnne Abircrumby … at his duelling place eftir that I had knakit [sic in pr.] thris thairat becaus I culd nocht apprehend him personalie
1589 Morison Dict. Decis. 3773.]
[Because it was not contained in the executions that the officer had knocked at the yett six tymes, according to the act of Parliament

2. tr. To knock, strike, beat (a door, a person, a person's head, etc.). 1560 Rolland Seven S. 4080.
The day will cum ȝour culum salbe knockit
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 90/18.
The greuis ar ordanit to … knok the crounis of thame quha ar misreulie
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 804 (T).
Greidie gukkit, … ȝeis be knokit [H. knoked]
1596 Dalr. II. 42/33.
Lyk knaues tha cnock the Kingis chamber dur, hardilie tha bid apne
1638 Bk. Pasquils 51.
From knoking priests and prelattis crouns … Almightie God deliver us
They knock't my deir friend on the pate

b. absol., To knok on, to continue to knock or deliver blows. 1535 Stewart 18546. Ib. 48636.
With plane power he met him into feild, And knokkit on quhair mony ane war keild

3. spec. To beat or pound, with a beetle or a ‘mell’, normally on a ‘knocking-stone’ (see Knoking-stane and -trowch), a. flax, after steeping and drying; linen cloth, after bleaching; wet cloth, as when washing clothes.Also Knoking vbl. n. (3). a1500 Henr. Fab. 1820.
The lint ryipit, the carll pullit the lyne, … It steipit in the burn, and dryit syne, And with ane betill knokkit it and bet
1609 Dundonald Par. Rec. 185.
Faultis delaitit … Robert Thomsoun … his vyf to knok vobis and hekill lint on the Sabath
1662 Crim. Trials III. 607.
Quhen we rease the wind, we tak a rag of cloth, and weitts it in water, and we tak a beetle and knokis the rage on a stone

b. To ‘bruise’ or husk barley in this way (see Knockit beir).Also Knoking vbl. n. (4). a1568 Bann. MS. 137 b/30.
Ane quheill, ane mell the beir to knok
1622 Black Bk. Taymouth 363.
Ilk cottar to haive libertie to knok tua pekis beir ilk yeir multour frie, and gif they knok aney mair to pay multour thairfor
1630 Kinghorn Kirk S. 34.
Margaret Main … to be warnit for knocking bear in time of sermon
1633 Orkney Witch Trial in Misc. Abbotsf. C. 154.
Quhen scho geid away with the corne that scho Was knoking
1651 Hutton Session Bk. in Berw. Nat. Cl. VII. 230.
Confessed she did not knock it [corn], but gave it two shaps

4. With complements: To knock or strike (a person) doun, in the head, to knock out (someone's brains). 1560 St. A. Kirk S. 36.
The Divell knok owt Johne Knox harnes
a1598 Ferg. Prov. (1641) 9.
He that takes all his geir … and gives to his bairns, it were weill ward to take a mell and knock out his harnes
1662 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I. 240.
The said James Dounie cryed to his associatts to kill the said compleaner, … knok him in the head
1682 Turner Mem. 284.
The barbarous rebells are cnocking doune thos who serve the King in every corner

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"Knok v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Apr 2024 <>



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