Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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LAIK, n. Also lake. Dim. laikie. [lek]

1. A toy, plaything (s.Sc. 1887 Jam. “a lassock's laiks”).

2. Specif.: a small marble, used as a stake in the game (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen. in pl. (Per.2 1928; Abd., Ags. 1960). For phr. laiks-a-choran see Chore, v. Abd. 1867  W. Anderson Rhymes 137:
When the ring was the game a' the lakes he wad win.
Abd. 1901  Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 2) III. 15:
The Marbles placed in a ring are called “lakes”.
Ags. 1921  A. S. Neill Carroty Broon x.:
You each placed your laikie in the ring, and then you all stood at steech, and in turn you tried to knock the bools out of the ring with your taw.
Ags. 1934  G. M. Martin Dundee Worthies 177:
One “bool” was placed in the centre and others — their “Lakes” — -to the number of players, on the periphery.

[O.Sc. laik, layk, sport, play, c.1470, a stake, a.1585, to play, c.1420, Mid.Eng. lake, 15th c., O.N. leikr, n., leika, v., play.]

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



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