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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

ROCK, n.1 Also roke (Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St. Patrick I. xi.). Sc. usages:

1. Combs. and Phrs.: (1) rock blackbird, the ring-ouzel, Turdus torquatus (Slg. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 8); (2) rock bool, a round hard sweet of candied sugar (m.Lth., Bwk., Lnk., Rxb. 1968); (3) rock cadie, the cod, Gadus callarias (e.Sc. 1887 Sc. Naturalist 9), prob. erron. for codie, see (5); (4) rock cock, applied to the wrasse in the varieties Ctenolabrus rupestris or Centrolabrus exoletus (Sc. 1905 A. Forbes Gaelic Names 393, 1930 Fishery Board Gl.), phs. a variant of Eng. rock cook by assimilation to first element; (5) rock cod(-fish), -codling, a cod, Gadus callarias, which has its habitat among rocks (n. and m.Sc. 1968, in coastal areas); (6) rock-halibut, the coal-fish, Gadus virens (Abd. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1968); (7) rock hawk, the merlin, Falco columbarius (Bwk. 1902 A. Thomson Lauder 276); (8) rock-herring, the allis shad, Alosa alosa (Bwk. 1838 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1885) 173; Mry. 1852 Zoologist X. 3482; Bnff. 1876 S. Smiles Sc. Naturalist 422, Bnff. 1968); the twaite shad, Alosa finta (Mry. 1852 Zoologist X. 3482; Abd. 1878 Trans. Nat. Hist. Soc. Abd. 90); (9) rock lintie, the twite, Acanthis flavirostris (Cai. 1968); the rock pipit, Anthus spinoletta petrosus (Abd. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 46); (10) rockman, a cragsman, specif. a fowler who catches young birds on rock faces (Ork. 1825 Jam., 1866 Edm. Gl.); (11) rock owl, the white-breasted barn-owl, Tyto alba; (12) rock partan, the common edible crab, Cancer pagurus (ne. and wm.Sc. 1968). Also in reduced form roke. See Partan; (13) rock sole, the Dover sole, Solea solea (Cai. 1887 Harvie-Brown & Buckley Fauna Cai. 280; ne.Sc. 1903 G. Sim Fauna ofDee” 248, ne.Sc. 1968); (14) rock starling, the ring ouzel, Turdus torquatus (Rxb. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 8; Bwk. 1889 G. Muirhead Birds Bwk. I. 32); (15) rock-teetlan, -teetlag, the rock pipit, Anthus spinoletta (Cai. 1968); (16) rock turbot, a name given to the flesh of the cat-fish or wolf-fish, Anarrhichus lupus, when offered for sale (Abd., Ags. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.; ne.Sc., Ags., Bwk. 1968); (17) Son of the Rock, a native of Dumbarton or of Stirling, a prominent feature of both towns being a rock surmounted by a castle (Per., Slg., w.Lth., Dmb. 1968); (18) the Old Rock, da Aald —, an affectionate name given to the Shetland Islands by Shetlanders (Sh. 1968).(2) Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 13:
Ee'd better heide thae rock-bools, or the bairns 'll kinsh thum.
(5) Sc. 1821 Scott Pirate ii.:
Charging the rock codfish at a penny instead of a halfpenny a-pound. . . . In an overcharge of about one hundred per cent. on a bargain of rock-cod.
Bwk. 1838 Hist. Bwk. Nat. Club 173:
When the fish is of a red colour, which it assumes after lying some time among weedy rocks, it is then called Rock Cod or Codling.
Sc. 1854 H. Miller Schools 509:
A basket of rock-cod.
Bnff. 1876 S. Smiles Sc. Naturalist 423:
A cod of a red colour, in all save the fins, which are generally of a yellowish tinge, and never larger than a common sized haddock. They are known here by the name of “rock codlings”.
(7) e.Lth. 1840 W. MacGillivray Brit. Birds III. 322:
It is named the Rock Hawk, from the circumstance of its nest being placed on the ground amongst rocks.
(9) Ags. 1888 Sc. Naturalist (Oct.) 347:
Under the name of the “Rock Lintie” it breeds regularly about Arbroath, nesting under tufts on the cliffs.
(10) Ork. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XX. 264:
The rockmen, as they are properly and significantly called, walk on the very edges of the shelves, in the very face of the rock.
Ork. 1806 P. Neill Tour 48:
The most active rockman or bird-hunter.
(11) Bwk. 1930 W. McConachie Glamour of the Glen 231:
It nested . . . in the rocks along some of our rivers. This last resort gave the bird in some parts the name of the rock-owl.
(12) Wgt. 1877 “Saxon” Gall. Gossip 15:
A big roke catch't him by the muckle-tae.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 319:
[She] grippit rokes . . . an sell't the big yins an ett the wee yins.
Sc. 1933 E. S. Haldane The Scotland of Our Fathers 281:
Various street cries early in the century, such as “pease and beans” and “rock partans”.
(16) Sc. 1931 J. R. Norman History of Fishes 385:
The Cat-fish or Wolf-fish (Anarrhichas) deprived of its head and skin, is sold as “Rock Salmon”, or, in Scotland, “Rock Turbot”.
(17) Slg. 1844 J. G. Kohl Travels Scot. 222:
The people of Stirling . . . call themselves “Sons of the Rock”.
Lnk. 1893 T. Stewart Among the Miners 206:
The “sons o' the rock” set their foemen aghast.
Sc. 1952 Sunday Post (28 Sept.) 9, 13:
Natives of two Scots towns are called Sons of the Rock . . . Stirling and Dumbarton.
Slg. 1967 Stirling Jnl. (5 Jan.) 1:
The Incorporated Glasgow Stirlingshire and Sons of the Rock Society, which was founded on Auld Hansel Monday, 1803.
(18) Sh. 1869 J. T. Reid Art Rambles 55:
Shetland girls who emigrate are soon married; and their husbands join them in assisting their relatives on the “Old Rock”.
Sh. 1965 New Shetlander No. 72. 5:
No Place like the Old Rock.

2. Derivs.: (1) rocker, one who climbs rock-faces to catch birds, a rock-fowler. Cf. 1. (10); (2) rockie, -y, (i) the twite, Acanthis flavirostris (Ags. 1855 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 66). Cf. 1. (9); †(ii) a wild sheep; (iii) the haddock, Gadus aeglifinus (e.Sc. 1887 Sc. Naturalist 9); (iv) in comb. rocky-on, a pile of stones built by boys as a temporary fortress against the incoming tide (Abd., Kcd. 1968); (3) rockle, dim., a small rock, a pebble (Ayr. 1825 Jam.). Hence rocklie, abounding with pebbles (Ib.; Slg., Fif., Dmf. 1968).(1) w.Sc. 1929 A. MacGregor Summer Days 228:
The natives [of Mingulay and Berneray] were as skilled “rockers” as are the St. Kildans.
(2) (ii) Cai. 1909 D. Houston 'E Silkie Man 5:
Mebbe she'd geen t'ca' 'e rockies aff 'e growan breether.
(iv) Abd. 1961 P. Buchan Mount Pleasant 22:
The loons that made a rocky-on to try an' beat the tide.

3. A curlers' name for a curling stone (Sc. 1968).

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"Rock n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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