Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BAUK,3 BAAK, BACK, BAK, n. A rope, esp. the head rope in fishing lines and nets. [bɑ(:)k] Sh. 1866  Edm. Gl.;
1 :
Baak, . . . the principal rope to which nets or fishing-lines are attached.
Sh. 1908  Jak. (1928):
Bak, piece of a long-line of a certain length, a line-b[ak], de b[ak] o' de line.
Sh. 1914  Angus Gl.:
Baak, the bolt-rope of a herring-net.
Ork. 1929  Marw.:
Back, . . . a rope from which nets are hung — also called back-rope — the “headline of fishing net.” . . . the main line of a fishing “long-line” — from which the hooks are suspended by short snoods.
Mry. 1894  J. Slater Seaside Idylls (1898) 44–45:
I've been thinkin' tae hing mine wi' shorter headbaaks this year.
Mry. 1927 1 :
Bauk, baak, a thick fishing line, the rope holding the bottom of the herring nets.

[Cf. Norse bakka, a fishing line with many hooks, deriv. by Torp from Low Ger. through Jutish. The back was first the board on which the hooks were placed and then the line to which they were attached. Thus, according to Torp, back, a line, or rope, is of the same origin as our Sc. Back, n.2, Backet, Baikie, n.1, q.v.]

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"Bauk n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Dec 2019 <>



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