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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MAUKIN, n. Also mauken (Kcb. 1810 R. H. Cromek Remains 149), mauking; mawkin(g); makin(e) (Gall. 1898 A. J. Armstrong Levellers 52); macking; ma(u)lkin (Rxb. 1928 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 37); myaukin (Abd. 1932 Banffshire Jnl. (8 May) 10), -en, mya(w)kin; macon. Also reduced dim. form mauky. Sc. meanings now obs. or dial. in Eng. [′mɑ:kɪn; ne.Sc. ′mjɑ:-]

1. The hare (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; ne. and em.Sc.(a), Kcb. 1962). Also in various fig. and proverbial expressions.Sc. 1706 in J. Watson Choice Coll. i. 69:
I grip't the Mackings be the Bunns, or be the Neck.
Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 58:
But what if dancing on the green, And skipping like a mawking.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 66:
For fear she curr'd, like makine i' the seat.
Sc. 1773 Boswell Tour (23 Aug.):
The Aberdonians had not started a single mawkin for us to pursue.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 236:
Maukens are most terrible, and have bad luck, none will go to sea that day they see a Mauken, or if a wretched body put in a Mauken's fit in their creels, they need not lift them that day.
Ayr. 1787 Burns T. Samson's Elegy vii.:
Ye maukins, cock your fud fu' braw . . . Your mortal fae is now awa.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vii.:
It will be my lot to be shot down like a mawkin at some dykeside.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Steam-boat vii.:
It is . . . believed . . . that the witches are in the practice of gallanting over field and flood, in the shape of cats and mawkins.
Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
“The maukin was gaun up the hill”; i.e., matters were succeeding, business was prospering.
Ags. 1833 J. S. Sands Poet. Effusions 84:
A hare, a monster, sic anither. A macon, faith! the macon's mither.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Sc. Verses 77, 78:
It was my ain bit mauky mate. . . . Puir maukie! noo ye'll fear nae mair . . . Nor fudd like stoor amang the stibble.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags xlvii.:
Once they raised, as it had been a poor maukin, a young lad that ran from them.
Bch. 1929 Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 131:
Naething bit a myawkin trappit in a snare.
Rxb. 1933 Kelso Chron. (3 Nov.) 5:
While maukins breenged amang his snares ayont the lirk.
Sc. 1979 Maurice Lindsay Collected Poems 39:
for ocht that gars you luik sae white an lik a maukin stare!
m.Sc. 1982 Olive Fraser in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 93:
The maukin o' Creagan Alnack
Has snaw for meat.
Lnk. 1991 Duncan Glen Selected Poems 8:
And waws to sclim to fields for shootin
foxes - ae fox - and maukins and rats.

Combs.: (1) mauken fute, hare's-foot trefoil, Trifolium arvense (Rnf. 1827 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 66); (2) maukin-hippit, with lean narrow hips; (3) maukin-mad, as mad as a hare, in a frenzy; (4) to let the maukin sit, to preserve a diplomatic silence, to let sleeping dogs lie.(2) Per. 1835 J. Monteath Dunblane Trad. 92:
Nane o' yer auld maukin-hippit withered bodies for me.
(3) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 106:
The fuddlin' Bardies now-a-days Rin maukin-mad in Bacchus' praise.
w.Lth. 1890 A. M. Bisset Spring Blossoms 33:
Maist Englishmen wad jist as lief Gang maukin-mad as want their beef.
(4) Ayr. 1876 J. Ramsay Gleanings 53:
We'll say nae mair o' that the noo, Just let the maukin sit.

2. An awkward, long-legged half-grown girl; a young house-servant (w.Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Voc. 47, maulkin; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); in pl. = children (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 141).Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
“A lass and a maukin”, a maid-servant and a girl to assist her.
Abd.15 1928:
Ye muckle myawkin, faur wis ye gyaan spangin yonner for (spoken to a long-limbed girl of ten)?

3. A cowardly or feeble person, a weakling (Uls. 1905 Uls. Jnl. Archaeol. 125, 1924 W. Lutton Montiaghisms 29).Abd. 1933 Abd. Press & Jnl. (30 March):
The lad that's fed on beef brose is nae mawkin.

4. A cat. Also in Eng. dial. Cf. Grimalkin.Fif. 1866 St. Andrews Gaz. (23 June):
When Mr Brown . . . left Cairns Mill for his new residence, maukin was placed in a bag and conveyed along with the other chattels. On the following morning pussey was found . . . sitting at the door of her old residence.

5. The female pudendum (Sc. 18th c. Merry Muses (1911) 118). Cf. Bawd, id.

[Vocalised form of Malkin < *Maldekin, a familiar dim. form of Mid.Eng. Malde, Matilda, Maud. For meaning 2. which may be in direct descent from the proper name, cf. Mid.Eng. malekin, a woman of the lower classes, later, a servant-wench. As a prop.n. O.Sc. has Makyne, c.1470, in sense 5. malkin, c.1538.]

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"Maukin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Sep 2023 <>



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