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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FLACKIE, n. Also flaekie, flaikie, flakie, flakki(e). [I.Sc. ′flɑ:ke, Cai. ′fleke] A mat of plaited straw, etc. used:

1. As a saddle-cloth to protect a horse's back from the saddle, creel, etc.. (Ork. 1808 Jam.; Sh., Ork. 1866 Edm. Gl.: Sh., Ork. 1951).Ork. 1734 P. Ork. A.S. I. 65:
Eight flails, Eighteen flackies.
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vii. 246:
A mat about 3 feet square, called a flettie or flackie . . . made of straw and floss-banks . . . was placed on the horse's back.

2. As a ground sheet over which to winnow corn or sift meal (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., flakki, Sh.11 1951; Ork. 1929 Marw.). Also in comb. flackie-corn, id. (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.).Sh. 1899 J. Spencer Folk-Lore 172:
On the wall hung a straw mat, called a flakkie, on which the corn was winnowed after being thrashed.
Ork. c.1912 J. Omond 80 Years Ago 17:
Flackies were mats made of straw seized together with twisted bent cords, and, as already mentioned, were used for winnowing on. They were also, long ago, used for doors to keep out the draughts, and as covers for corn and oats' bins also made of straw, etc.
Sh. 1947 Folk Bk. (ed. Tait) I. 72:
Dey wir kishies, maishies, flakkies ta mak'.

3. As a draught-screen, hung in a doorway (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Cai.3 1943).Ork. 1911 Old-Lore Misc. IV. iv. 180:
When the door was made all on one piece the draught was regulated by filling up a part of the open doorway with windlings of straw or by a flackie made of heather or dochan stems woven very loosely to allow of the wind passing through.

4. Phr.: to beat (a) flackie(s), to warm the hands by swinging the arms and slapping them against the sides (Ork. 1929 Marw.; Ork.1 1949). Cf. Fluiks.

[O.N. flaki, a hurdle of wickerwork. For the phr. under 4., cf. Norw. dial. slaa flakje, id. See note to Fluiks.]

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"Flackie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Dec 2023 <>



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