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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.

Lik, Lick, n. Also: like. [e.m.E. lick (1603), f. Lik,v.]

1. The action of licking or tasting; a lick, a taste. Also transf. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1686.
With a lik and a thing as Malie brunt hir toung
16.. Row Cupp of Bon-Accord i b.
A good minister wald a been content of … humble meat indeed; but our prelats now will have a lick of the best of it
1653 Binning Wks. 654.
He … must lift up his garments that hang side and take a lick of everything by the way

b. Enough to provide a mere taste, a trifling allowance. c. A small piece, a fragment.b. a1676 Guthry Mem. (1747) 247.
When the supplicants found this was all they had obtained, they called it a lick of cream
c. 1610 Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 153.
He having … lost al without reserving anie thing not so mekle as ane lik or peece of peper, safe some pepers that [etc.]

d. A dab, an application of a small quantity (of paint or the like). c 1648 Sc. Pasquils 154.
To know them one by one afarre We'll mark them with a lick of tarre

2. Put for: A cut or slash on the face. In Lockerbie lick. 1603 Moysie 162.
[The lord Maxwell, having assembled 2000 men in Annandale beside Lockerbie to besiege the Laird of Johnstone's house of Lochwood, has his forces scattered, and is himself overtaken and slain;] And a great number [of Maxwell's forces] hurt in the face, whilke was called a Locarbie like; speciallie the laird of Newark Maxwell was all magilled on the face and left for deid

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"Lik n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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