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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ARK, n.1 [ɑrk]

1. (a) A large chest for storing corn, meal, fruit, etc. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1725 Ramsay T.T.Misc. (1876) II. 174:
An ark, an ambray, and a ladle, A milsie, and a sowen-pail.
Ork.(D) 1920 J. Firth Remin. Ork. Par. 123:
Guidwife, gae tae yer butter ark, An' weigh us oot o' hid ten mark.
w.Dmf. 1894 J. Shaw W.-L. in Trans. Dmf. Gall. Antiq. Soc. 142:
Ark, a large chest for holding corn or meal. . . . In my own kitchen I have an ark with a partition, the one part holding oatmeal, the other flour.

(b) Comb. Meal ark.Slk. 1714 V. Jacob Lairds of Dun (1931) 241:
Ane meikle old meal ark.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) I. i.:
A' the meal girnels i' the country wadna stand it, let abee the wee bit meal ark o' Chapelhope.

2. Extended in a ludicrous sense to anything large or unwieldy.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
A great ark o' a coo.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
A great ark o' a kist.

3. An enclosure for confining or catching fish.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
The word is also used in old deeds, for that kind of box used in lakes, ponds, etc., for catching eels.
Sc. 1883 Athenæum (2 June) 695/3:
Edinburgh had an eel-ark of its own at the east end of the North Loch.
Abd. 1792 Fraserburgh Town Council Minutes MS 12 Jul :
The Banff road leading to the march at the fishing ark at the Watermill Burn.
Ags. 1721 Marriage Contract (per Fif.1):
The Loch of Balgavie with the ark and fishing thereof.

[O.E. arc, earc, a chest, box, coffin; O.Nhb. ark (Noah's), O.Sc. ark, aurk, etc. From Lat. arca, a chest.]

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"Ark n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Jun 2023 <>



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