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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TOUK, n.2, v.2 Also took, †towk, tuke, teuk; ¶toog (Gsw. 1736 D. Murray Early Burgh Organ. I. 414). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. tuck, (to gather) a fold of cloth, etc. [tuk]

I. n. 1. As in Eng., a fold or pleat sewn in cloth (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 452, towk; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., took; I., ne., em.Sc.(a), Dmb., sm.Sc. 1972).Rxb. 1805 A. Scott Poems 105:
A' the taylor's tukes an' nips.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 15:
A Mackintosh sark, like a pock to haud soot, Falds round bim in runkle and touk.
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 326:
Sheu pat tooks api' da dead sarks an' weur dem.

2. A plait of hair, a projecting lock, a “cow's lick” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., took). Obs. in Eng.

3. An embankment or jetty built to prevent erosion of soil on the bank of a river, side of a ditch, etc. (Rxb. 1825 Jam.; Wgt. 1972).Gsw. 1736 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1909) 462:
To inspeet the touks at the Peetbog and give orders for mending the back side of the touks where the sward is broke.
Gsw. 1744 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1911) 162:
Making towks stabs to the Green.
Ayr. 1792 Boswell Letters (Tinker 1924) II. 485:
The tuck at Cumnock must be repaired in a sufficient manner so as to keep the water off.
Ayr. 1807 Session Papers, Earl of Eglinton v. Taylor Proof 3:
Ten tucks upon the Snodgrass side of the water of Garnock . . . made by driving stobs from the edge of the bank into the river and fencing the same up betwixt the stobs with brushwood and stones.

4. A hasty tug, twitch or pull (Sc. 1825 Jam.), as of a fish at an angler's line (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); a contest, a tussle.Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
To take a touk of any thing, i.e. have a touch of it.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 452:
I had an unco towk wi' a de'il's bairn.
Sc. 1887 Jam.:
He gied her sleeve a bit took.

5. More than enough of food, a surfeit (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.), cf. colloq. and dial. Eng. tuck, a hearty appetite, a tuck-in; also jocularly or ironically of work: an excessive amount, too much to do.Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 22:
A'm deed-teird: A hev hed a richt took o woark.

6. A sudden pain (Watson).

II. v. 1. As in Eng., to fold up, make a tuck (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; ne.Sc., Ags., Bwk., wm.Sc., Rxb. 1972).Sc. 1887 Jam.:
Took up your tails. Touk it a' roun.

2. To tug, pluck, pull (Sc. 1887 Jam.). Obs. in Eng. exc. dial.

3. To support the banks of a river in order to prevent erosion (Ayr. 1958). Vbl.n. tucking, cf. I. 3.Ayr. 1792 Boswell Letters (Tinker 1924) II. 487:
If the stones are not removed or a great expence of tucking made on this side, much more will go off by next winter.

[This long vowel form from O.E. tūcian became obs. in Eng. in the 16th c.]

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"Touk n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Nov 2023 <>



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