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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BARKEN, v. To clot; to encrust, plaster over. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. (1817) xxiii.:
The best way's to let the blood barken upon the cut — that saves plaisters.
Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 64:
Barken'd wi' dirt, is said of an unwashed person.
Abd.(D) [1788] J. Skinner Christmas Ba'ing in Amusements, etc. (1809) xxix.:
Just whare their feet the dubs had glawr'd, And barken'd them like bryne.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin (1868) xxxi.:
Her physog, whereon there was barkened not only the hereditary dirt.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xvi.:
Lifting up one of his eyes, the other being stiff and barkened down.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 261:
It was here that the first erles of his calamity met his horrified een, for there, stiff and cauld on the sand, and a' barkened wi' his bluid, lay the leddy's page!

ppl.adj. barkened, barkined, barkent, used chiefly with hide or leather.

(1) Tanned. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian v.:
Effie used to help me to tumble the bundles o' barkened leather up and down.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 34:
Their Stumps, erst us'd in filipegs, Are dight in spaterdashes Whase barkent hides scarce fend their legs Frae weet and weary plashes O' dirt that day.

(2) Encrusted, toughened or blackened by weather, etc.Ags. 1820 A. Balfour Contemplation, etc. 264:
The winnocks dim wi' barkened dust.
Uls. 1924 A. E. in North. Whig (12 Jan.):
Barkined, encrusted, as food or other substance drying on a surface.

[O.Sc. barknit, ppl.adj., appears in 16th cent. = dried into a crust. Known also in n.Eng. dial.]

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"Barken v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Mar 2024 <>



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