Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sek, Sak, n.1 Also: seck(e, sec(t, seke, sea(c)k, seik, sac(t, sack(e, sake, saik(e, sayk. Pl. also sax. [ME and e.m.E. sac (c1200), seck(e (c1250), sak(ke (a1300), sak (1314-15), sake (1422), sek(k (15th c.), cek (Prompt. Parv.), sacke (1483), OE sacc, MDu. sak, ON sekkr, OF sac (11th c. in Larousse), L. saccus.]

1. A sack.Also with various qualifiers, see Clath(e n. 6, Harn adj. 1, S(c)het(e n.1; Corn n. 4, Malt n. 2 a; Napsek n., Pan-wod(e n. 1 b.Also in proverbs and allusively.(1) 1375 Barb. viii 444.
His men … He gert … sekkis ta Fyllyt with gres
1472 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 26.
And the corne and sek escheit to the saidis fermoraris
a1500 Henr. Fab. 266 (Asl.).
Sekis full of grotis, meile and malt
1496 Acta Conc. II 39.
The oppinnaris of the sade sek that the sade fedder bed and gold was intill
1524–5 Wigtown B. Ct. fol. 157b.
For the … scading him of ane sek & ane polk at vald tak a boll of corne
1526 Wigtown B. Ct. fol. 176b.
For vranguis haldein fra hyre of a seik
1540 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 226.
Quhairby he … may haif ushe and enteray with laid, pok, sek, slaid and uther tursabyll geir
1548 Treas. Acc. IX 187.
1562 (c1650) Dundee B. Laws 29.
That no landwart man nor vthers presenting bear in the mercat presum to oppin ther secks mouthes qhill xi houres be stricken
1570 Peebles B. Rec. I 323.
And that it [sc. meal] be als gud in the ers of the seke as in the mouth
1571 Sat. P. xxix 22.
Quhen Dauid vnder the sek did loure
1571–2 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. VII 61. 1558-66 Knox II 310.
Who wold have thought … that his brethren should have travailled for vittallis, and have returned with empty seckis
1596 Dalr. I 94/22.
Thair heid thay laid vpon … a grosse seck spred vndir thame
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Berthinsek.
Sa-meikle meate as he may beare vpon his backe in ane seck
1602 Crim. Trials II 383.
Steilling furth thairof his haill insycht pleneissing in ane seak
1605 Crim. Trials II 483.
Ane sek full of victuall, contening sax firlottis
1608 Edinb. Test. XLIV 283b.
Four new seckis
1625 Justiciary Cases I 25.
Foure bollis dicht aittis standing in sekis
1629 Dumbarton B. Rec. 32.
Forsameikill as … meillmen hes usit grit wrang in taking the meill furth of the sak and rubbing the same … on schoitts befoir the missring thairof … they statute that the meill be nawayse rubbit without the sek bot misserit out of the sek
1672 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 19 June.
Georg Wilson weiver … to work him twa secks
1681 Corshill Baron Ct. 156.
Wronging his young hedg by onlaying of wett seckes and cloathes
(b) 1506 Treas. Acc. III 201.
For gret clath sakkis to the quene callit harnes, viij li.
1507 Treas. Acc. IV 29.
For … mending of brases for clath sakkis
1508 Crim. Trials I i 53.
1616 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 5.
For ane saik to carie the hors brand in
1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 76.
For 2 saikes for careing the silver plait to Falkland
(2) proverb. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2222.
With thame that trowis oft to fill the sek Deith cummis behind and nippis thame be the nek
a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 82.
An old seck is ay skailing
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 1382.
The worst world that ever wes the maltman wil gait his seck again
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1029.
Lat the sek beir the poke
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1132.
Manie words fillis not the firlot or sek
(b) a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 124.
Ane ful sack will tak ane clout one the syd
(3) attrib. 1583 Edinb. Test. XIII 119b.
Tua stane … wecht of sekband towis at ij merkis the stane

b. With reference to the drowning of a person, or the disposal of a corpse, in (unto = into) a sek.(1) a1400 Leg. S. iii 211.
The juge … Gert bynd the ȝounge man rath, And put hym in a sek to mere
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 28/87.
Gud Fame wes drownit in a sek
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6677.
Twise I thé drownit, the first time in ane sek
(b) 1687 Lauder Notices Affairs II 784.
Two dead bairns found murdered … One of them was found drouned in a sack in the North Loch
(2) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 6596.
Deliuer him to me I sall him beir in ane sek to the se. Scho heiring that … Deliuerit him the deid knicht
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6620.
He band him fast vnto ane vther sek, With ane greit stane hingand about his nek

c. attrib. With neiddilles and threid for sewing sacks or sacking. 1624 Edinb. Test. LII 199.
Ane hundreth sek neiddilles pryce vj s.
1625 Brechin Test. IV 198b.
Ane clout & half sek nidlis
1697 Foulis Acc. Bk. 218.
For a seck needle to Tomas
1680 Foulis Acc. Bk. 49.
Roset and pick and sack threid

2. A sack with its contents; a sackfull (of corne, woll, etc.); also as a more or less definite measure of quantity or, chiefly, weight.(1) 14.. Acts I 60/2.
Gif ony byis corn in a lordschip and passis in ane othir lordschip … and puttis his sek in the kingis gat he salbe quyt of multer and gif he puttis his sek wythin hous or apon the middin he sal pay multer
1441 Aberd. B. Rec. MS V ii 647.
The profite … of the schippis that cummys to the toune that is to say the fraght of sek and tun to the kirk werk
1466 Acts II 86/1.
Ilk merchiande having wol skyn or hyde oute of the realme sal bring of ilk sek of birnt siluer twa vnce
1495 Halyb. 21. 1499 Halyb. 225.
Sald … for xvj mark the sek … ane weyand vj wall xxv naill and the tother vj wal xv naill
1545 Aberd. B. Rec. I 222.
The setting of the said gudis of the said haill schip and how many sekis the same extendis
1561 Inverness Rec. I 58.
For ewyrre laid or sayk the horse hes fra the stane to … the portis j d.
1577–8 Conv. Burghs I 52.
The augmentatioun of sex stures of the sek grantit to the said conseruatour by and attour the twa stures of auld … continow … to be vptaikin of euery sek of all manner of gudes pertening to Scottismen
1595 Edinb. B. Rec. V 134.
Provyding that he … putt nocht his hand in thair seks as he uses to do
1597 Aberd. Council Lett. I 69.
Of everie uther sort of geir passing owt of Scotland to bring hame according to seck or tun as is aboue specifiet
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Sek.
Fuiring of gudes be the sek, serplath and tunne
1598 Edinb. B. Rec. V 219.
Settis to Thomas Rob, … the custome of the seks to be sett in the beir merkatt
1622-6 Bisset II 207/30.
Be the tred and trafik of merchandis now used within the realme of Scotland, the merchandis thairof uses to pay fraucht for thair guidis to Flanderis be the sek; to France, Spane and England be the tun [etc.]
(b) 1587 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. 118.
The quantitie of ane ladell quhais full to be tane furthe of ilk sak for thair painis
(2) 1405 Aberd. B. Rec. (SHS) 219.
A sek of woll, and giff ony excedis byand [mar] than a sect of woll
14.. Acts I 303/2. 1436 Acts II 23/2.
And [the custom] of v hamburghe barellys als mekill as of a sek of wol
1467 Acta Aud. 8/2.
That Moffet wes decretit to pay Andro Liddale a gude seke of woll
1482–3 Acta Conc. II cvii.
Sevin sek of woll
1495 Treas. Acc. I 220.
xxv sekkis of vnpakkit woll, prisit be the provest and nychtbowris … , the sek to xxj markis
1495 Halyb. 89.
A sek of skynnis contenand 400
1496–7 Halyb. 46.
Rasauit … out of John Ervyn a sek of forest fin, … rasauit … out of the Julyan 2 sekis of mydlyn … , rasauit … a sek off May skynis contenand 300
1497–8 Acta Conc. II 95.
xxij bollis of dry aitis, xvij bollis of aitis out of the berne … iiij sekkis and xvj bollis of bere and malt
1568 Inverness Rec. I 172.
Ane sek of malt contenyng sex firlottis
1572 Canongate Ct. Bk. 373.
The said schippis … laidning extendit to xlii sekkis of guddis
1575 Glasgow Chart. I ii 166.
Of euery sek of wictuall cumand to the said mercat
1582 Conv. Burghs I 140.
Ilk sek gudes to Flanderis to be estimatt to twa tunnis
1614 Dundee Shipping L. 245.
Aucht sekis of hemp
1622 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 279.
That all seckis of meill presenting the mercat fre and vnfre sall pey the ladill meill
1638 Aberd. B. Rec. III 125.
A number of seckis of meill to the number of fourescoir seckis or thairby
1685 Kirkintilloch B. Ct. 135.
Each seck of meill tuell penneys
(b) 1594–5 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 6ab.
For my par[t] of ix sax and xv moyes of salt … ii docatis v ryellis
1640 Bk. Carlaverock II 502.
2 sakes of white
1661 Ure Rutherglen 47.
Each sake of beir, malt, meil, peis, beines, [etc.]
(3) c1390-1434 Sc. Merchandise (ed.) 115, etc.
Item vj lib. of woll mak the nayle and xxx nayle makis the walle & ij walle makis the sec. The sec at viij marc. The sec at xxxv s. vj gr. ij ynglis
14.. Acts I 304/2.
Of a last of wol that is to say for ten sekkys gaddryt togyddyr aucht peniis … of a waw of wol that is to say half a sek, twa peniis
1581 Acts III 216/2.
That euerie sek of woll sall contene bot twentie foure stanis
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Bullion.
Ordainis twa tun fraucht to be compted to the sek: And twa sek fraucht to the serplaith
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Serplath.
Ilk pak is als great als halfe ane sek of wooll skinnes and conteinis in weicht threttie sex Sprusse stanes
1606 Conv. Burghs II 227, 228.
Of ilk tua twn wyne Burdeaux bynd quhilk is sett to ane seck … and ilk four butis Spanis wyne estemit to ane sek, for ilk seck the merchand sex stuiris [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 44.
Ane pennie for ilk seck of woll (quhilk conteines twentie foure stanes)
1624 Brechin Test. IV 152.
Fyue seckis of hoip ilk seck veyand xviij stane wecht
1622-6 Bisset II 208/9, 25.
Everie sek of woll sall contene twentie four stanes. … concerning the sek of woll thair is na soleid nor certane constant wecht thairof
c1654 Wemyss in Sc. Diaries 125.
12 leads (or seacks of this colls)
(b) 1685 Paterson Sc. Arithm. 7.
40 stone is esteemed a sack of goods
1686 Mackenzie Observ. 119.
A sack of goods, which is the common fraughting of all merchandise from this countrey to the Low-countreys, esteem'd to weigh 40 stones
(4) attrib. 1437–8 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 5.
Quhat persouns frauchtis a schip owtewart sall give a sek fraucht to Sanct Rynanes Ile in Brugis, and quhat persouns frauchtis ane schip hamewart thai sall gif a twn fraucht to St. Geillis wark
1494 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 66, 67.
At thai caus to be insert thairintill [sc. their indenture] … the sek fraucht of the schip aboue fyve lastis of guids, and vnder that birth of half sek frawcht to thair chaiplane of St. Ninianes altare in Bruges
1505 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 106.
His dewty of the vittaills merkat … his dische fuill of ilk sek laid ilk merkat day
1650 Peebles Gleanings 305.
To exact for everie seck metting, 12 d.

3. A garment made of sacking or a sack used as a garment as a symbol of mourning or penitence. 1456 Hay I 59/13.
Than cled thai thame in clething of sekkis, and in wedis of doloure
1456 Hay I 59/17.
The senatouris … cled in sekkis and in dolour
1533 Boece 330b.
The king erectit in esperance of marcie … involuyt in ane vile sek and borne … furth to the feild … randerit his spirit
1571 Sat. P. xxix 17.
On the Fryday wytht silks he did him dek And on Sonday his garmont wes of ane harne sek
1626 Garden Worthies 129.
Astrea sad in seck and sable sute

4. Some kind of material. Also attrib. b. A garment made of such material. 1550–1 Perth Guildry MS p. 273.
That na vnfreman top nor sell blew woll nor sact except hugstairis
attrib. 1642 Edgar Old Church Life I 293 n.
For harden to be ane sackbratt 38 s
b. 1463 Aberd. B. Rec. I 23.
For a belt … item for a sake and a gowne of blowe [etc.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Sek n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: