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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.

KEBBOCK, n. Also kebbuc(k), kebuck(e), kebback, kebec, kibbock, keeback (Cai.), cabback (Jam.), cabbach; cabag, ke(i)bag (Cai. 1959). A home-made cheese (s.Sc. 1793 T. Scott Poems 327; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; n.Sc., Ags., Fif., Rnf., Lnk. 1959), sometimes of a special kind: “a cheese . . . made with ewe-milk mixed with cow's milk” (Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality viii.); “cheese made of skimmed milk” (Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 222). Also phr. a kebbock o(f) cheese. Also fig. The moon. [Sc. ′kɛbək. ′kebək, ′kɪbɪk; Cai. ′keɪb əg].Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 23:
An honester fellow never . . . cuttit a fang frae a kebbuck.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 87:
She seenil lays her hand upon a turn, Neglects the kebbuck, and forgets the kirn.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Cotter's Sat. Night xi.:
The Dame brings forth in complimental mood, To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, fell.
Slk. 1823 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. (1874) i.:
After . . . tasting old Janet's best kebbuck, and oatmeal cakes.
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 105:
A whang aff a new cut kebbuck is ne'er missed.
ne.Sc. 1874 W. Gregor Olden Time 16:
Between some of the couples were hung strong boards, on which were ranged kebbacks of various sizes and ages.
Ags. 1888 Barrie Auld Licht Idylls vi.:
The Daft Days, the black week of glum debauch that ushered in the year, a period when the whole countryside rumbled to the farmer's “kebec” laden cart.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 133:
An' links o' puddin's, black to see, An' yowe-milk kebbuck, sweet to pree.
em.Sc. 1935 Scotsman (31 May) 15:
Also, in those parts one is readily understood when one makes a request for a “kebbuck” of cheese or a “farl” of oatcake.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 45:
A cowp, nae mair nor
a tae-breeth frae Hell;
like a kebbuck wi mawks,
shackelt tae its smell.
Gsw. 1994 Alasdair Gray A History Maker 126:
They brought him powsoudie, drummock, kebbuck and farle. He ate it and dressed.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall in Neil R. MacCallum Lallans 51 15:
Efter a lang, lang time, somebody pit out the lichts in the lift an aathing gaed blaik, except for the kebbuck o cheese an a green an blue foushty baa hingin in space, like a rotten tangy.

Combs.: (1) kebbock-creel, a basket for holding cheeses; (2) cabbach day, see quot.; (3) kebbock-heel, the last remaining hard end-piece of a cheese (Gall. 1902 E.D.D.; ne.Sc., Fif., Edb. 1959). See Heel; †(4) Kebbock-shire, Ayrshire, from the former importance of the cheese industry there, as at Dunlop, etc. (Rxb.3 1931).(1) Ork. c.1836 Old-Lore Misc. (1908) I. vii. 265:
Gudewyfe gae to your kebbock creel, See that you wyle your kebbocks weel.
(2) Inv. c.1750 Young Chevalier 59:
The Town's People of Inverness had now as terrible a Prospect as their Ancestors had, even on Cabbach-Day itself (Note-A Day ever memorable in that Town for the Fight between the Camerons and M'Phersons, on Account of so small a Trifle as one Third of a Scots Penny . . . the Price of a Cheese, which he thinking too dear by 1-3d of a Penny.
(3) Ayr. 1786 Burns Holy Fair xxv.:
An' dinna for a kebbuck-heel, Let lasses be affronted On sic a day!
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 85:
An' Meggy's mitie kebbock-heel, I'd cheerfu' whang.
Dmb. 1868 J. Salmon Gowodean 108:
For in good sooth I wouldna' like to lay The Kebbuc-heel upon the board the day.

[O.Sc. cabok, kebbok, etc., id., from c.1470. Orig. uncertain. Gael. has càbag, id., c.1768, which in that form may be a borrowing from Sc. Mod.Gael. dial. however, has the form ceapag, a round lump, as of cheese, orig. a solid barrow wheel, a dim. of Gael., Ir. ceap, a block, last, nave of a wheel. But there is no evidence earlier than the 20th c. for this extension of meaning.]

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"Kebbock n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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