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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

RINK, n.1, v.1 Also renk. Dim. renkie. [rɪŋk]

I. n. 1. The piece of ground marked out for a contest, combat, race, etc., an arena, hist. or arch.; the contest itself; a run, race; one's course or way. Combs. and phr. rinkie-race, a short run before a jump (Fif. 1921 T.S.D.C. IV.), rink-room, a tournament-ground; to get out one's rink, to sow one's wild oats, embark on a course of dissipation (Fif. 1808 Jam.). Deriv. rinker, rinketer, a high, lanky, long-legged, worn out horse, sc. of the race-horse breed, esp. in phr. an auld rinker (Sc. 1808 Jam.), fig. a tall raw-boned woman (Abd., Kcd. 1825 Jam.).Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry 137, 144, 161:
The heralds had the rink-room metit, The barriers set, and lists completit; . . . But sae it happen'd that nae scaith, That renk, wrocht either dool or death; . . . Upon the renk the warden-freir Lay doitrifyit and doytet.
Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms xix. 5:
Blythe as ane giant is till rin his rink.
Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken xxx.:
The daft auld rinketer, whan ance she had gotten a grip o' him, she gied a screech an' a fling, an' pu'ed him inower aside her.
Sh. 1892 Manson's Sh. Almanac:
Wha tinks doo wid tak a renkie aff o da laand dis time o da year?

2. The area of play marked out in the games of curling and quoits. Gen.Sc. Also fig. Phrs. Master of the rinks, an official appointed by a curling club to supervise the condition of the ice and the observance of the rules (Sc. 1825 Jam.); to ken to soop the ice to ony rink, to be resourceful and adaptable, to have all one's wits about one.Ayr. 1786 Burns T. Samson's Elegy v.:
To guard, or draw, or wick a bore, Or up the rink like Jehu roar.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 162:
Their rocks they hurled up the rink Ilk to bring in his hand.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 83:
But Ise gie o'er (in case fock think That I am scor'd within their [deils'] rink.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 29:
Ane can hardly get a bit dub for a chaunle-stane rink.
Dmb. 1868 J. Salmon Gowodean 74:
They who would wi' Gibbie clink or jink, Maun ken to soop the ice to any rink.
Lnl. 1881 H. Shanks Musings 355:
Frae day-dawn till sunset the rink's in a roar.
Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lads' Love xviii.:
I had given many hours of study to this most ancient art of casting the disc of metal through the air, and sending it ringing against the pin. I even laid down a rink at home, with well moistened clay from the Folds Burn.
Sc. 1940 Royal Caled. Curling Club Ann. xxvi.:
The length of the Rink from the Foot Score to the Tee shall, subject to the provisions of rules 48 and 67, be 42 yards.

Hence deriv. rinker, a round woollen cap of the type worn by curlers (Ayr. c.1900), a “tammy” (Sh., Abd., Per., w.Lth., Lnk. 1968).

3. The team, now of four in curling or (carpet-)bowling, or two in quoits, forming a side in a game. Gen.Sc. Also attrib. Deriv. rinkie, a nick-name given to the skip or captain of a team, who directs its play (w.Lth. 1968).Dmf. 1776 J. Kerr Curling (1890) 126:
The society agreed to form themselves into six rinks of eight players each.
Lnk. 1823 Caled. Mercury (4 Aug.):
The long pending match at quoits, 24 on each side, forming 12 rinks when each played 41 shots.
Rnf. 1833 J. Cairnie Curling 82:
The Society, at present, consists of 10 rinks of 7 players each.
Fif. 1870 St. Andrews Gazette (29 Jan.):
A “rink” medal . . . the medal being awarded to the skip whose rink has been most successful throughout the curling season.
Lth. 1885 J. Strathesk More Bits 269:
“Rinkie” was “skip”, or the head player of a rink composed of Sir John, Matthew Riddell, and Allan Crauford.
Slg. 1893 R. M. Fergusson My Village 159:
Every rink's under it's ain skip.
Slk. 1897 D. W. Purdie Poems 97:
Ilk skip, on whom the duty's laid To form his rink, sune picks his men.
Per. 1904 E.D.D.:
How many rinks have come?
Sc. 1940 Royal Caled. Curling Club Ann. xxviii.:
Every Rink of players shall be composed of four-a-side, each player using two Stones, and playing each Stone alternately with his opponent. Any Rink not having its full complement of four players shall be disqualified.

4. A game of curling, one of the series of games constituting a match. Gen.Sc.Dmf. 1823 R. Broun Mem. Curl. Mab. (1830) 32:
Every one ran to witness the termination of the remaining rink.
Ags. 1897 A. Reid Bards 403:
Anither rink is sune begun.

5. A straight line (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.), a line of demarcation or division, esp. the boundary between Scotland and England (Ib.). Hence comb. Rink Fair, a market held south of Jedburgh near the Border (Id.).Abd. 1733 Session Papers, Fraser v. Buchan (27 Feb.) 1:
A Rink of Stones which were reckoned the March betwixt the Moss of Cairnbuilg and Whitecairn.
Sc. 1802 Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) XII. 214:
The farm in which it [the Catrail] [is] most easily distinguished takes perhaps from that circumstance the name of the Rink.
s.Sc. 1866 St. Andrews Gazette (28 July):
Jedburgh (Rink) Wool Fair. — This fair was held on Tuesday.

6. A number of articles set in order (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144); the act of setting things in order (Ib.).

7. The seat encircling the fire in an old-fashioned open fireplace. ? Confused with Bink, n.1, 4.Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 55:
What d'ye think Was the heid o' their crack roun' the auld chimla rink?

8. (1) A ranging up and down, a restless prowling, esp. with the association of noise, a hunting about (ne.Sc. 1968); (2) a rattling noise (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144; Mry., Bnff. 1968).(1) Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144:
She keepit a rink but an' ben the hoose.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick xi.:
A jist hid a gweed rink roon 'e toon tae see fat A cud get haad o'.

II. v. 1. To encircle, surround, hem in, form a boundary of an area. Only in eclectic usage. Cf. I. 5.Sc. 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms iii. 6:
Frae thousans o' the folk, wha owre-set themsels again me, rinket roun.
Sc. 1901 W. W. Smith New Testament Heb. xii. 1:
The dawtit sin that eithlie rinks us roond.
Sc. 1913 H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ iii. xlviii.:
Man is rink'd roon wi' monie fauts.

2. To arrange, set in order (Abd. 1968).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144:
Rink the dishes i' the hack.

3. To play at curling. Vbl.n. rinking.Sc. 1792 J. Kerr Curling (1890) 122:
Curlers . . . on ice conveen like winter fowls, An' please them wi' the rinking o't.

4. (1) To range or prowl about restlessly, often associated with the idea of noisy movement (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144). Derivs. rinkie, rinker, a flighty, frivolous female, a gad-about (Abd. 1968).Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
To rink up and down, discurrere, circumire.
Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shep. (S.T.S.) 181:
Now Henny gees it o'er to rink and range.
Abd. 1809 J. Skinner Amusements 77:
But likes to rove and rink about Like highland cowt amo' the heather.
Ags. 1821 Montrose Chronicle (9 Feb.) 47:
Had they never seen their betters riding and rinking about in time o' sermon.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxv.:
A set o' cairds rinking about the pumphel.
Abd. 1967 Huntly Express (30 June) 7:
People like myself who “rink” around the countryside.

(2) tr. and int. To search thoroughly, to rummage (ne.Sc. 1968).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144:
He rinkit up ilky kist an' press, bit he cudna get it.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vii., xxvi.:
Tammas gidd awa ben an' rinkit in aal Betty Breece's pantry amo the ettables . . . 'ey rinkit 'e place first ava tae see gin 'ere wis onybody harkenin.

(3) To climb, clamber (Abd. 1968). Hence rinker, of a steer that tends to mount others (Id.).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 144:
A' the loons rinkit our the dyke.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xviii.:
They're jammin' tee at their heels, wi' cairns rinkin' up upo' the dyke.
Abd. 1950 Buchan Observer (11 April):
Mony an een's come by an amshach rinkin' heich up on a ledder.

[O.Sc. renk, a combat arena, 1375, a race, c.1480, rink roume, c.1550, with various extensions of meaning paralleled by those of Range, Rank, Reenge, v.1, Eng. rank, range, all from the same ultimate orig., O.Fr. renc, ranc, Fr. rang, a row, line, rank, ranger, renger, to (ar)range, itself of Teut. orig. cognate with ring.]

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"Rink n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Feb 2023 <>



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