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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ILKA, adj. Also ilkae; ilkie-y (n.Sc.); ulky (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); ilki.

1. Each, every, of two or more. Ilka bodie, everyone. Gen.Sc. Rarely with the.Sc. 1714 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 16:
And ilky Month a well paid Skin, To mak her tame.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 9:
Wi' leed that well might help him to come ben, An' crack amo' the best of ilka sex.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 38:
Mourn ilka nymph and ilka swain, Ilk sunny hill and dowie glen.
Ayr. 1791 Burns Tam o' Shanter 23–4:
That ilka melder, wi' the miller, Thou sat as lang as thou had siller.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality v.:
I dinna gie ilka body that; I keep it for a pain I hae whiles in my ain stamach.
Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy Geordie Chalmers 194:
The brats o' duds, an' the rent, an' the ilka thing belanging to a hoose.
Abd. c.1880 W. Robbie Yonderton 155:
There wiz a callant o' that name eest to come there ilky simmer for a while.
Sc. 1892 Stevenson Catriona xv.:
Ilka time Tod cam near the house.
Fif. 1894 J. Menzies Our Town 97:
The wark was hard, nae doot, fir ilka man toiled like sax.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 64:
Ilka word's a thun'ner-clap, And he gi'es a gey sair clour.
Ags. 1932 Forfar Dispatch (2 June) 3:
I aye laive ilkae thing in its ain bit.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 4:
Aye, hark at auld Narra-Mind and, afore lang,
We'd think ilka hermless thing we did was wrang
Them that wants to can aye funn faut.
wm.Sc. 1986 Robert McLellan in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 25:
Weill, that's ilka auld name in Blairbeg, save yer ain.
Abd. 1987 Sheena Blackhall in Joy Hendry Chapman 49 57:
Yet ivery teenie bird may raxx its wing
Kennin the solace o a cloudless sky
There is a sea that welcomes ilkie wave
Yeh, even sic a brukken ane as I.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 15:
the craw's richt, famine rooks the land
and ilka cratur's in a thratch frae need.
Abd. 1993:
Ilky ear we grow an ear aaler.
ne.Sc. 1996 W. Gordon McPherson in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of Winning Poems and Stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 21:
There wis twa-three Police kin o lads deavin inti the driver, an him near diminted; there wis Police chappin at ilki door an rinnin up ilki pend.
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 11:
Pickin oot ilka row
The lass wid mind
Oan this the morra
An in the lang time tae come
Think o this day
Till ilka stitch unpickt
Wis the unravellin
O her faith.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 16:
Peerin at ilka blade
"Yon's growin, yon's deid,"
Nid-nodded he, richt eident at the darg.

2. Combs. and phrs.: (1) ilka ane (yin, een), each one, every one (Bnff., Abd., Ags., Fif., Ayr. 1958; ilka ane Bnff., Ags.; ilka yin Ags.; ilkie een Bnff., Abd., Ags. 2000s); (2) ilka body's body, a popular person, a general favourite, esp. one of a friendly, obliging disposition (n.Sc., em.Sc.(a), m.Lth., Ayr., Kcb. 1958), sometimes in a bad sense of one who is all things to all men, a time-server (Abd., Fif. 1958); (3) ilkaday, a week-day, “what is commonly called a lawful day, as distinguished from that which is appropriated to Christian worship” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags. 1958). Also as an adj., pertaining to an everyday, as opposed to a Sunday or festive occasion, ordinary, usual. Comb. ilkaday(s) claise, ordinary, everyday, working clothes (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc., em.Sc.(a), Slg., Lnk., Rxb. 1958); .†(4) ilka deal (dale), every whit, altogether (n.Sc. 1825 Jam., -deal); (5) ilka where, everywhere; (6) ilka wye, id. (Abd. 1958); (7) nae ilka body, not everybody, no common, ordinary person (Abd. 1825 Jam.; n.Sc., Ags., Per. 1958).(1) Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 7:
Clear to ilka ane whase saul is not sand-blind or purfled wi' pride.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xv.:
That will be just five-and-threepence to ilka ane o' us.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb ii.:
But, an ilka ane had their nain I wudna say nor the laird wud hae to forhoo's bit bonnie nest.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 139:
In a toon like Thornhill, where ilka yin's business is a'body's business.
Abd. 1993:
Ilky een o e bairns got a penny.
(2) Ayr. 1790 J. Fisher Poems 64:
Get ye that bra' wallie name, O' ilka body's body.
Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick I. vii.:
They say she has been ilka bodie's body sin' she was the bouk o' a grozet.
(3) Lnk. 1806 J. Black Falls of Clyde 134:
Twa hours wi' pleasure I wad gi'e to heaven, On ilka days, on Sundays sax or seven.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vii.:
I . . . gaed to kirk whare'er ye likit on the Sundays, and fended weel for ye in the ilka days besides.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvi.:
The lads only like ye when ye hae on your braws — they wadna touch you wi' a pair o' tangs when you are in your auld ilka day rags.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xxx.:
In ilka-day meals I am obligated to hae a regard for frugality.
Sc. 1849 M. Oliphant M. Maitland xvii.:
When did ony mortal see me wearing commonly on an ilkaday the like of this bonnie white sark?
Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (13 Feb.) 334:
I'm sure afore I wad see ye put yersel' in sic a state I wad . . . gang i' my ilka-day's claes.
Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 38:
An ilka day braw maks a Sabbath day daw. If we wear our best clothes at ordinary times, we will be at a loss on special occasions.
Kcd. 1911 W. MacGillivray Cotbank 23:
His Sunday clothes were black and of a finer cloth than those for “ilka day.”
Abd. 1940 C. Gavin Hostile Shore ii.:
I thocht you kent better than to come in here wi' your ilkadays boots on.
(4) Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 96:
Says Ralph, well neiper I hae heard your tale, An' even fairly at it ilka dale.
(5) Bwk. 1823 A. Hewit Poems 63:
The little burdies ilka where Do meet wi' skaith.
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 49:
Chairs, tables, and cradles were ilkawhere sittin'.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 26:
News she gat frae ilka where.
(6) Abd. c.1880 W. Robbie Yonderton 55:
It's nae ilka wye 'at ye'll sheet yer niz in t' sic a het nest.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 5:
There's sae mony nice wyes an' that 'at they hae nooadays 'at a body's a kin' o' fleyt to br'ak breid ilky wye.
(7) Abd. 1825 Jam.:
He thinks himsell nae ilka body.
Abd.13 1933:
She disna think 'ersel ilka body nor yet mony ane.

[O.Sc. ilka, each, every, from c.1470. Reduced form of ilk a(ne), from Ilk, adj., written as one word from 15th c. The orig. significance of -a was lost in the 18th c., hence ilka ane.]

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"Ilka adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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