Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

JOCKTELEG, n. Also jocteleg, jo(c)ktaleg (Sh. 1886 G. Temple Britta 250, 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 37); jocktileg (Ags. 1904 W. M. Inglis Ags. Par. 25); jock-tae(to)-leg; jacktelegjack o' the leg (Uls. 1929);  jock the leg; jocktullie, jocktaley, and reduced form jock (Sc. 1823 C. K. Sharpe Ballad Bk. (1880) 183). [′dʒoktəlɛg] A large clasp or pocket knife (Sh., Ayr. 1959); “a large knife for kitchen use” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 287, jock-tae-leg). Also attrib.Sc. 1705 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 367:
To James mcCalliom for a jock the leg sneding knyfe . . . 0.14.6.
Bnff. 1718 W. Cramond Ch. Grange 81:
John Ruddach declared that George Neil took out a Joktaleg to take a chew of tobacco.
Ayr. 1789 Burns Peregrin. Capt. Grose viii.:
It was a faulding jocteleg, Or lang-kail gullie.
Lnk. 1792 in J. Knox Airdrie Bards (1930) 308: 
They sort them out wi' clever hands, Gude Jacktelegs an' a' things.
Sh. 1832 Old-Lore Misc. VIII. iv. 198:
Thomas du hast an jocteleg; threow him in till da door, dan dey will not can shuit dat same.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders vii.:
Sax inches o' smugglers' jockteleg in the wame o' ye.
Ork. 1904 Dennison Sketches 16:
Than I teuk me jocktullie knife an' cuttid a piece oot o' the back o' the kist.
Kcd. 1929 J. B. Philip Weelum o' the Manse 16:
The would-be antagonist “coordied at aince and jist fauldit in like a joktileg.”

[O.Sc. jackteleg, jockdeleg, jock (the) leg, id. from 1643. Also in n.Eng. dial. from mid-18th c. as jack(a)leg(s). Appar. Jock + leg. Penknives with the handle carved to represent a human leg are found from the 17th c. (cf. Perret L'Art du Coutelier and Fr. dial. jambette, a pen-knife). For the phonology cf. Jock-te-leer s.v. Jock, n., 4. (36). The old etymology from Jacques de Liège is untenable. The Ork. form jocktullie is an alteration ad. Tully, a large knife, q.v.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Jockteleg n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: