Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BEGOWK, BEGOUK, v. and n. [bə′gʌuk]

1. v.

(1) To befool. Sc. 1886  R. L. Stevenson Kidnapped ix.:
Ah, but I'll begowk you there!
m.Sc. 1927  J. Buchan Witch Wood xi.:
But it's easy enough to begowk two landward simpletons.
Edb. 1895  J. Tweeddale Moff 190–191:
Sae tae mak' share that my een wasna begowkin' me.
Ayr. 1928  Children's Rhyme (per Ayr.4):
Tak the richt or tak the wrang A'll begouk ye if I can.
nw.Rxb. 1923  Watson W.-B. 52:
‡Begowk. To befool or trick (a person).

(2) “To jilt in courtship, to slight a woman” (Peb. 1825 Jam.2).

2. n. A disappointment. Ayr. 1879  R. Adamson Lays of Leisure Hours 92–93:
But there we got a sair begouk, No very nice tae thole.

Phrases: (1) to give the begowk, to jilt; (2) to get the begouk, to be jilted. (1) Sc. 1814  C. I. Johnstone Saxon and Gael II. 32 (Jam.):
If he has gi'en you the begowk, lat him gang, my woman, ye'll get anither an' a better.
(2) Slg. 1933 3 :
She got the begouk.

[Be, pref., 1 + Gowk, a fool, q.v.]

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"Begowk v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2019 <>



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