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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FLAKE, n.1, v.1 Also †flai(c)k, †fleck, †fleak, ¶flick.

I. n. 1. A hurdle or framework of crossed slats, gen. portable and used as a fence, barricade, gate, etc. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. Also in Eng. dial. Sometimes used attrib.Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace vii. iii.:
Flaiks there they made of Timber fresh, and tight.
Abd. 1746 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 178:
Try turneep in rows, if ground is ready; and get flaik folds, to feed on the turneep.
Mry. 1747 Lord Elchies' Letters (ed. MacWilliam) 271:
The price of your dealls and flaick barrs.
Slk. 1818 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. (1874) xx.:
In the very middle of the fold door, on the inside of the flake that closed it.
Sc. 1857 J. Aiton Domest. Econ. 123:
Let it not be a mere yett or a flake turning on hinges.
Dmf. 1904 J. Gillespie Humours Sc. Life 84:
They'll need a very strong stane dyke or a five bar flake between them.
Lnk. 1928 W. C. Fraser Yelpin' Stane 176:
He put a flake across the road.
Arg. 1993:
They carried the boy on that fleck fae the shore up tae the ferm.

2. Specif.: (1) in pl., a temporary pen for sheep, or cattle, made of hurdles (ne.Sc., Dmf., Gall. 1951). Adj. flaiky.Sc. 1741 Caled. Mercury (30 Oct.):
To be let in Tack, by way of publick Roup, the links of South-Leith, as also the customs of the House of Muir, and sheep-flaiks at the West-port.
Sc. 1784 A. Wight Husbandry III. 456:
This notable improver feeds ewes and lambs with red clover in a grass field, where they are confined within hurdles or flakes, and the clover put into racks.
Dmf. 1823 J. Kennedy Poems 99:
A flaiky fauld, and naething mair, Was a' my bield.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 211:
At the back o' the steadin I fand An'ra Wabster, sittin on the tap o' the flakes, smokin his pipe. †(2) A kind of rack used for various purposes, e.g. for exposing goods for sale; feeding hay to animals; dressing wool; hanging a gun over a mantelpiece; drying flax over a fire (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.).
Sc. 1733 P. Lindsay Interest Scot. 109:
The washing, cleaning, and drying of Wooll, by beating it on the Flecks.
Slg. 1738 Slg. Burgh Rec. (1889) 243:
Amongst other things the particular time allowed the country shoemakers to sett and keep up their flakes and stands.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 26:
An', frae the flake aboon the ingle-en' He whips his carabine.
wm.Sc. 1796 in A. Young Annals Agric. XXVII. 241:
It [the hay] is either laid down on the snow, or put into flakes.

(3) A weir or lattice fence across a river (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 205; Wgt.3 1930).Sc. 1726 W. McFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 201:
A cruve which is a large frame of big peices of timber set across the river, having several passages for water to run through in which passages there are fleaks of timber made after the manner of a Tirliss. †(4) Distilling: a wooden box containing water through which the worm passes. More commonly in comb. flakestand (Abd. 1825 Jam., flaik-).
Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. 299:
You may help the Fire, and cool the Fleck or Worm-tub as occasion requires.
Sc. 1748 Caled. Mercury (21 April):
Two copper stills, one of 180, and the other of 36 Gallons English Measure, two Worms with Fleck-stands.
Ags. 1904 W. M. Inglis Ags. Parish 163:
The worm was set within a wooden box or cask, called by the smugglers the “flake-stand.” . . . This box was filled with cold water.

II. v. To pen sheep by means of flakes (Kcd. 1813 G. Robertson Agric. Kcd. 371; Bch. 1926 E. Dieth Bch. Dial. 26; Bwk., Rxb. 1952).e.Lth. 1794 G. Buchan-Hepburn Agric. e.Lth. 59:
The turnips upon this species of soil is generally eat off the ground with sheep flaked upon it.
Ayr. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 V. 680:
One proprietor, at least, has set the example of flaking sheep upon turnips.

[O.Sc. flake, a hurdle, 1438, a rack, 1589, as a v. 1535, Mid.Eng. flake, O.N. flaki, a wicker hurdle. Cf. Flackie.]

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"Flake n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/flake_n1_v1>

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