Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.
POCK, n.2, v. Also poke, poak, pok(k), †polk; pyoke, pyo(c)k, peock (Abd. 1928 Word-Lore III. 147), ¶pyook; puock (s.Sc.); pouk, powk (sm.Sc.). Dims. pockie, pokie; pjoki (Jak.). [po(:)k; n.Sc. pjok; s.Sc. †′pʊək. See P.L.D. § 105.]
I. n. 1. (1) A simple type of bag or pouch, a small sack or sack-like receptacle (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 126); a shopkeeper's paper bag. Gen.Sc., now chiefly dial. in Eng. Dim. pockie, a lady's handbag (‡Ork. 1966). Deriv. pockfu, a bagful. See also Pockle. Comb. poke apron, a rough makeshift apron made out of a sack.Sc. 1700 R. Chambers Annals (1858) III. 226:
His papers were lying about the floor, or hung about the walls of his closet in pocks.Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 28:
Ye shall hae twa good pocks That anes were o' the tweel.Bnff. 1747 W. Cramond Cullen House (1887) 15:
The Highlanders made pocks of the tickings of feather beds.Ayr. 1792 J. Little Poet. Wks. 168:
But or they a' had got a turn The pokefu' nuts was ended.Edb. 1801 J. Thomson Poems 5:
Four gude sacks, an' a pock.Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary ix.:
After they had touzled out mony a leather poke-full o' papers, the town-clerk had his drap punch at e'en to wash the dust out of his throat.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 344:
Why should I myself immure, Eternally 'mang powks and stoure.Fif. 1864 St. Andrews Gazette (27 Feb.):
The children during the evening were each served with a “pock” containing a gift from the “auld folk” in fruits and other children's “meat”.Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 97:
Rob wus bit ower like a bockie In a ill apshakin pockie; He wus a pock a flesh an been.Bnff. 1882 W. Philip K. MacIntosh's Scholars xi.:
An ill-bred loon or twa crackit a paper pyoke at the verra time he was speakin'.Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 115:
Every young sheeld hed his muckle pokky o' sweeties, 'at he haandit aboot in nev-fues.Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods (1907) 147:
He wambles like a poke o' bran.Kcb. 1888 G. Sproat Rose o' Dalma Linn 228:
She steyed at the place a hale dizzen year Till ance he had gethered a poukfu' o' gear.Gsw. 1904 H. Foulis Erchie vi.:
Buy the mistress a poke o' grapes and gang roond wi't to her mither's.Lth. 1914 C. P. Slater Marget Pow 2:
The hints the minster aye reads out in the English Church when the poke is handed round.Ags. 1921 V. Jacob Bonnie Joann 10:
Ye're richt weel buskit, yer poke is fu', Ye ride i' yer ain machine.Abd. 1933 J. Leatham Season of Hope 108:
When ye come back wi' a pyockfu o' gowd And a “kyte” and a purple nose.Gsw. 1945 T. Hanlin Lifetime xiii.:
Seeking timidly in heavy boots and poke apron for stairs to scrub and clothes to wash.Bnff. 1956 J. Wood Seine Fishers iv.:
He was dressed for sea and carried his canvas pyoke over one shoulder.Gsw. 1966 Archie Hind The Dear Green Place (1984) 97:
'... And ye'd get some hen-pecked nyaff that couldn't punch his way oot o' a wet poke writing strong letters to clients. ...' m.Sc. 1979 Donald Campbell in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 67:
Mony pokes o skinklin siller,
bonnie dainties cam your wey. Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 27:
Och, losh b'here, ma face is green
An' faith, I'm like tae choke
Yon cheeky birkie's back again
An' handin' me a pyoke! Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 78:
Whaun he deed we fund a hauf
feenisht paiket [of pan drops] on the bedside table.
That wad hae scunnert him, nae doot;
that, for him, wad be deein afore his time.
We shuid hae cuist a poke o them, no yirth,
intil the grave. Gsw. 1991 John Burrowes Mother Glasgow 333:
'The Albert was for the real dancers like me ...'
'Don't tell me you went there ... one of the patent dance pumps-in-a-brown-poke-under-the-arm brigade?'
'That was me and proud of it.'
'It was the West End Ballroom for the real lumbers ...' Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 156:
What brocht Alison fae London to live here? Did she rob a bank? Crash through the swing doors, arms raxed wi the weicht o money in pocks wi loot written on them, like in the comics. m.Sc. 1996 Christopher Brookmyre Quite Ugly One Morning (1997) 108:
Jenny indicated right as her car reached the Picardy Place roundabout, nothing else on the road but taxis and discarded chip pokes. Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 44:
So I niver did get a dinosaur's tae clippins, bit there wis a plastic brontosaurus in my pyock o Monster Munch that naebody else in the class hid gotten! wm.Sc. 1998 Alan Warner The Sopranos (1999) 131:
Chell fished into the zipper poke of her backpack, took out a wee purse: emptied the coins onto the metal bartop. em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 104:
There was the scrabbling sound of a board being moved and replaced, and then he pushed the chest back into its original position. He returned to the fireside carrying a small cloth poke black with soot and grime.
(2) Specif.: the bag used by a beggar for collecting meal or the like given in charity, a beggar's scrip or wallet. Phr. pock and string, a state of beggary, begging (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add.).Ayr. 1786 Burns Jolly Beggars Recit. 8:
They toom'd their pocks, they pawn'd their duds.Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of Lairds iv.:
An auld beggar-man wi' a grey head and a cleaner pock than usual.Sc. 1839 Whistle-Binkie II. 68:
He could “lay on the cadge” better than ony walleteer that e'er coost a pock o'er his shouther.Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs 63:
Better the mother wi' the pock, than the faither wi' the sack.w.Lth. 1910 J. White Eppie Gray 8:
[She] frichts them wi' “the beggar man Will put ye in his poke.”Bnff. 1939 J. M. Caie 'Twixt Hills & Sea 7:
A gangrel wife, her pyock upon her back.
2. Combs., phrs. and deriv.: (1) awmous pock, see Awmous; (2) butter-poki, “a small thin bag through which the water is strained from freshly-churned butter” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1966); (3) flyte-pock, see Flyte, III., 1.; (4) meal pock, see Meal; (5) pock-end, the bottom or corner of a bag or receptacle, esp. one used to hold money. Phr. to mak a toom pock-end, to spend all one's money, come to poverty. Cf. (6); (6) pock-erse, id. (Ags. 1966); (7) pock-neuk, = (5). Hence to be on one's own (another's) pock-neuk, to be relying on one's own (another's) resources, to be acting “under one's own steam” (Sc. 1825 Jam.); to pickle in one's ain pock-neuk, see Pickle, v.; (8) pock-pud(ding), (i) a dumpling or steamed pudding cooked in a bag of muslin or similar thin material (Rxb. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Sc. 1825 Jam.; wm.Sc. 1966). Also used attrib., = paunchy, gluttonous, as in 1705, 1827 and 1880 quots. Hence (ii) a jocular or pejorative nickname for an Englishman from the supposed fondness of the English for steamed puddings, with an additional implication of omnivorousness and stolidity (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc., obsol.; (9) pock-seat, = (6) (Ags. 1966); (10) pock-shakkins, poke-shakings, n.pl., lit., the last fragments of the contents shaken out of a bag. Hence fig., (i) the last child to be born of a large family (Sc., 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 384; Sh., n.Sc., Per., Ayr., s.Sc. 1966), the smallest pig in a litter (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Ags., w.Sc. 1921 T.S.D.C.). Gen.Sc.; (ii) the last snowfall of the winter, the end of the bad weather (Ags. 1954); (11) pocky, adj., bag-like, pouched, in comb. pocky-cloud (Ork. 1966), see quot. Cf. Pack, n.; (12) scaulin-pyoke, see Scauld, v.; (13) to be going like Auld Evermore (the Devil) in a powk, to move about frantically, go “like the hammers of Hell”; (14) to be on one's ain pock, to be relying on one's own resources (wm.Sc., Dmf. 1966). Cf. (7); (15) to gang wi' the pock, to go about begging, to seek alms (Per., Kcb. 1966). Cf. (21); (16) to let the cat oot o' the pock, to reveal a secret, “let the cat out of the bag” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 128, -powk; Cai., Bnff., Abd., Per., Kcb. 1966). Also ¶to lowse the pock-mouth to the cat, id.; (17) to lowse (open) one's (the) pock, (i) to tell one's news, give a full account of something, tell all; (ii) to make a charitable gift of food or money. See also Lowse, v.; (18) to pickle oot o' ae pock, to share a common means of livelihood, live together. See Pickle, v.; (19) to pit one to the pock, to force one to become a beggar, reduce one to poverty; (20) to shak one's pock, = (17) (i); (21) to tak pock an' staff, to become a beggar, take to the roads as a mendicant (Ork. 1966).(5) Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel xxvi.:
Ye will soon make a toom pock-end of it in Lun'on if ye hire twa knaves to do the work of ane.(7) Sc. 1813 The Scotchman 118:
He micht a steyt a while langer on his friend's pock neuk.Sc. 1817 Scott Rob Roy xxiii.:
E'en pickle in your ain pock-neuk — I hae gi'en ye warning.Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie lxxviii.:
I came in on my own pock-nook, as we say in Scotland when a man lives on his own means.Sc. 1854 D. Vedder Poems 81:
Thus Dugald industriously filled his pockneuk.Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard Bearer vi.:
I read in my Bible as I had opportunity, keeping it with one or two other books in the pokenook of my plaid whenever I went to the hills.(8) (i) Sc. 1705 Dialogue between Country-Man and Landwart School-Master 2:
A pack of Pock-puden, Pork eaters, Belly-god Tykes.Fif. 1712 Two Students (Dickinson 1952) 17:
They have sometimes broth of boiled beef and sometimes of boiled mutton with some of either of these roasted and sometimes a pock pudding in stead of broth.Sc. 1736 Mrs. M'Lintock's Receipts 19:
To make a Poke-Pudding. . . . Put in Half a lib. of sweet Sewet, and half a lib. of Currans.Sc. 1826 M. Dods Manual ii. 65:
We may be easy put bye; and the Gude forbid we were belly-gods, the pock-puddin Eppycurryeans.Sc. 1827 Literary Gazette (18 Aug.) 541:
Whatna change the pock-puddin' Southron tykes would mak in our auld gusty Scotch diet.Abd. 1880 W. Robbie Glendornie xi.:
Thae English lads are a pock puddin' set.Sh. 1883 J. R. Tudor Ork. and Sh. 157:
The Christmas dinner-tables of pock-pudding Southrons.(ii) Sc. 1706 Observator (25 May) 59:
I wonder that Mr Pock-puddin owns that there were any Scots Men there at all.Sc. c.1715 Jacobite Minstrelsy (1829) 73:
They'll fright the fuds o' the Pockpuds.Sc. c.1730 E. Burt Letters (1815) 112:
My countrymen, not only here, but all over Scotland, are dignified with the title of poke pudding, which, according to the sense of the word among the natives, signifies a glutton.Sc. 1760 J. Fleming Robert Adam (1962) 202:
He wrote that he.had “had some English this week at my house seeing my works, who are or seem to be much satisfied with them, so that as I hear from England that Chambers is not doing great things I may hope to come in for a share of the pock-pudding with the rest”.Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality xx.:
The Englishers live amaist upon't; but, to be sure, the pock-puddings ken nae better.Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage xxxiv.:
Gin I thought ye wad mairry ony pock-puddin', feint haed wad ye hae gotten frae me.Dmf. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (May) 159:
The powk-puds who live owre the border.Bnff. 1869 Banffshire Jnl. (5 Oct.):
There is a dash of satire on the pock puddin' fulebody in their “Thank ee.”Clc. 1882 J. Walker Poems 76:
Frae John o' Groats to south the Loudons If Scotland rouse, The braggart gabs o' yon pock-puddin's She'll maybe close.Sc. 1886 Stevenson Letters to Baxter (1956) 165:
What's mair, Sir, it's Scotch: no strong, for the sake o' they pork-puddens [sic], but jist a kitchen o't, to leeven the wersh, sapless, fushion-less, stotty, stytering South-Scotch they think sae muckle o'. Its name is Kidnapped.Sc. 1901 H. Wallace Greatest of These 6:
English pock-puddin's — the old race hatred, rising with the scum of other grievances to the surface.(10) (i) Sc. 1844 H. Stephen Bk. of Farm II. 700:
The small weak pigs are usually nicknamed wrigs, or pock-shakings.Lnk. 1883 A. R. Fisher Poems 57:
Their getts, wha never let alane my shaking o' the Pock.Abd. 1901 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 2) II. 142:
The [youngest] member of a large family, facetiously called “the poke-shakings.”Arg. 1931:
Ay, I had a big femly: thir twaa here are jist the pokeshakins.(11) Ork. 1863 Edb. New Philosoph. Jnl. XVIII. 221:
I first observed this kind of cloud (cumulous-like festoons of drapery) on 5th March 1822 . . . Since then I have seen it several times, and, when properly developed, it was always followed by a storm or gale within twenty-four hours. It is called “Pocky cloud” by our sailors.(13) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 23:
When any one is driving on, and never looking behind, nor to the right or left, it is said he is then going on like Auld ever more in a powk.(14) Rnf. 1840 MS. Letter per wm.Sc.1:
You are now on your own pock as the Scotch people say or thrown on your own resources as some English men would say.(15) Ayr. 1789 D. Sillar Poems 105:
My Mither gade lang wi' the pock.(16) Sc. 1799 A Butter'd Slice 5:
Vile filthie scourge o' our Gude Town Wha lous'd the pock-mouth to the Cat An' took the lid frae aff the pat.wm.Sc. 1868 Laird of Logan 426:
An old grey-headed man . . . soon let the cat out o' the pock.Abd. 1882 T. Mair John o' Arnha's Latterday Exploits 53:
And Katie keepit house, but now A cat had left its pyock.Lth. 1882 J. Strathesk Blinkbonny 257:
The cat's out o' the pock.Gsw. 1898 D. Willox Poems 69:
Of course, tae hae let the cat oot o' the pock an' telt her that ma mind was made up . . . wad hae been the hicht o' follishness.(17) (i) Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. ii. i.:
But loose your Poke, be't true or fause, let's hear.Per. 1766 A. Nicol Poems 60:
Let ilka rattling ill-bred block, Frae house to house still keep a troak Daily, of lies to loose the pock.Abd. 1810 J. Cock Simple Strains 124:
Sae, wi' a phrase, he lous'd his pock, His Lon'on news to tell.Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 203:
Ony news that's unco rare, Come, lowse yer pock, and gie's them here.Abd. 1875 G. MacDonald Malcolm xxv.:
She had the design to win at something she thoucht I kent, an' sae, to enteece me to open my pock, she opent hers.(ii) Abd. 1925 A. Murison Rosehearty Rhymes 66:
They seen lowse the string o' their pyock at Rosehearty.(18) s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws vii.:
Thae three hae pickled out of ae pock as tho' they was in very sooth billies o' the same stock.(19) Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shep. (S.T.S.) 180:
Want put him to the pock, with mony mae, An' even gentles boot to beg, they say.(20) Kcb. 1897 T. Murray Frae the Heather 166:
When frankly wad I shake oot to ye My pock o' news.(21) Ayr. 1799 Coll. Ayr. Arch. and Nat. Hist. Soc. I. 111:
He said “he would rather take a pock and staff (become a beggar) than have any business with it.”
3. Specif., a sack or bag holding a certain quantity of wool, a measure of wool. Cf. Pack, n.1, 4. Comb. pock-market, ? a wool market.Hdg. 1844 J. Miller Lamp of Lothian 524:
Bear, malt, oat, and pock markets.Sc. 1855 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. II. 1125:
Poke, of wool, 20 cwts.
4. A net in the form of a bag or pouch used for catching salmon, a purse-net (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Dmf. 1959 Bulletin (16 Feb.); sm.Sc. 1966); a bag-shaped net for catching small coal-fish (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928); Ork. 1929 Marw.; I.Sc., Cai. 1966). Combs. poke-fishing, -handle, the handle of a pock, -net.Sc. 1704 Fountainhall Decisions II. 227:
Discharges pock-net fishing, with herry-water nets, and other engines marring salmon-fishing.Clc. 1758 Session Papers, Erskine v. Magistrates Stirling (14 July) 9:
The Method practised in fishing with these triangular Pock-nets, is, that a number of Persons stand with these in the Stream of the River, where they know the Salmon must pass . . . The common Pock-net could not be used in Water above four Feet deep.Slg. 1763 Morison Decisions 14270:
Interlopers had devised an engine called a pock-net, which a man could carry under his coat. This engine is a small net fixed to two staves, with which the fisher goes into the water and, . . . putting the two staves to the ground, he holds the net there till he finds a salmon striking it; then he closes the staves, goes to the shore, and carries it off.Dmf. 1812 Scots Mag. (Sept.) 689:
Poke-Nets are about a yard square at the mouth, in form of an open bag. and are suspended between the stakes of from six to seven feet long, which are planted or fixed near half way into the sand.Wgt. 1885 G. Fraser Poems 47:
The free salmon fishing that proved sic a boon Tae the poor fisher-folk, Wi' their stake net and poke.Sh. 1901 T. P. Ollason Mareel 62:
Jemmy generally hed enouch ta dü ta keep his pok i'da watter an' himsell oot o't.Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 153:
Oh, weel, I might a geen him a proag trow da lum wi' a pock haandle.Dmf. 1954 Dmf. & Gall. Standard (2 Oct.):
In this district the burgh of Annan held the highest poke net rights in the Solway, having about 500 groups.Sh. 1956 U. Venables Life in Shet. vii.:
You draw the fish in by putting a bit of salt herring in your poke or spitting chewed limpet muggies on the water . . . A poke is a man's tool; it is roughly five feet across and a single scoop can catch about half a hundred weight.Cai. 1960 Edb. John o' Groat Lit. Soc. 29:
If ye wanted till catch a lot o' sellags at once, 'e pock was 'e richt thing.Sc. 1964 Weekly Scotsman (4 June) 10:
Ten fathoms of netting are detached from each “bag” or “poke”. This netting is known as the lead, and it is this, floating out from the “poke”, which guides the nosing salmon into the trap.Dmf. 1966 Dmf. Standard (2 Feb.) 5:
The letting of the poke and haaf-net fishings in the Solway Firth belonging to Annan Town Council was carried out by the Provost's Committee in the town hall on Saturday evening.
5. A fold or temporary pouch in a plaid or the like. Cf. also poke-neuk, id., s.v. 2. (7).Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 321:
She had the poke o' her plaid as fu' as it wud stap.Sc. 1933 N. B. Morrison Gowk Storm ix.:
She pulled up the counterpane into a poke with her fingers.
6. A pouch-like swelling under the jaw of a sheep caused by the disease of sheep-rot or liver-fluke (Sc. 1825 Jam.), the disease itself (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., Cai., Abd., Per., Peb. 1966). Also in Eng. dial. Comb. Beltane-pock, id. Deriv. pocky, adj., of sheep: having a swelling under the jaw, suffering from liver-fluke.Cai. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 VI. 271:
Numbers [of sheep] often die, during the course of winter and spring, of what are here called the rott, pock, and scab.Abd. a.1800 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. VI. 74:
My sheep took the pock and my horse was stown awa'.Peb. 1802 C. Findlater Agric. Peb. 403:
The lungs are found to be tuberculous; the animal coughs; and, in the progress of weakness, an oedematous swelling, called in Scotland the pock, or poak, is formed under the jaw.Fif. 1805 Session Papers, Cleghorn v. Dempster (17 Dec.) 45:
They were pocky, or had water about the choucks.Sc. 1814 J. Sinclair Agric. Scot. I. 295:
The deadly poke or rot.Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales (1837) III. 275:
It never saw either braxy or breakwind, bleer-ee nor Beltan pock, but was the cantiest crock o' the Kaim-law.
7. The udder of a milch animal (Kcb. 1966).Ags. 1879 J. Guthrie Select. Poems 20:
The crummies stand weel pleased in shady nook, Till Mysie frae their pocks the rich stream draws.Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 153:
I could hear something in the goatie's pock, aye fizzin like when I guttered wi' its tits.
8. As in colloq. or dial. Eng., the stomach of a fish (Cai. 1903 E.D.D.); also jocularly, the human stomach (Cai., Wgt. 1958, a sair poke).
II. v. 1. To put into a bag or poke, in 1880 quot. of game: to bag. Comb. pock't-pudding, a dumpling cooked in a cloth. Cf. I. 2. (8) (i). Phr. to pock up, store away in a bag, put away, to save, hoard, keep.Sc. 1709 Analecta Scot. (Maidment) II. 242:
There is not a fardon of it pocked up.ne.Sc. 1714 R. Smith Poems To the Reader:
One did once at a Feast find such sweetness in a Pockt-Pudding.Sc. 1724 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 97:
Poke up your Pypes, be nae mair sene.Ags. 1880 A. M. Soutar Hearth Rhymes 41:
He feint a ane o' them could pock, Tho' aft his gun went bang.
2. intr. To fish with a pock-net, see I. 4.; also tr. to catch fish with a pock-net (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), pok; Ork. 1929 Marw.; I. and sm.Sc. 1966). Vbl.n. pocking, pock-net fishing.Ork. 1728 in H. Marwick Merchant Lairds (1936) I, 134:
There are some harnes for pocking and some other things for you aboard Capt. Glassfoords ship.Sh. 1869 J. G. Bertram Harvest of Sea 295:
The proprietor, Mr Bruce [of Whalsay], will not allow “pocking,” as a week would finish them all; but the people must all fish with the rod.Sh. 1901 T. P. Ollason Mareel 64:
Whether do you imagine I came here simply for your bloomin' amusement, or to pok sillocks, — eh?Sh. 1956 New Shetlander No. 43. 22:
The boats' noosts are situated, not far from the kraig-stanes where sillicks are draa'n, or pokk'd in Hairst.
3. Of sheep: to be suffering from pock or liver-fluke (Rxb. 1825 Jam.). Cf. 1. 6. Ppl.adj. po(c)ked, having a swelling under the jaw, infected with sheep-rot (m.Lth. 1795 G. Robertson Agric. m.Lth. App. 69; Sc. 1825 Jam., 1869 Trans. Highl. Soc. 445).Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 I. 138:
Rotten ewes have in spring a goiter like the inhabitants of the Alps under the lower jaw, and are called poked, i.e. pouched ewes.
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