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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.

KIRK, n.1, v.1 [kɪrk]

I. n. 1. = Eng. church in all senses. Cf. P.L.D. § 65.1. Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial. Also in dim. form kirkie. Freq. attrib. The word is gen. used of a Presbyterian or other non-Episcopal church or congregation as opposed to chapel for a Scottish Episcopalian or Roman Catholic place of worship.Edb. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fif. (1803) 193:
They [Roman Church] (as the proverb has it) “Tirr'd the Kirk, to theek the Quire.”
Sc. 1716 R. Forbes Journals (Craven 1886) 95:
We have a young man on tryal with a view to be settled there, yet have we no hopes for a comfortable settlement for him, having got no access hitherto to the kirk of that parish.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 37:
A Man may love the Kirk well enough, and not ride on the riggen of it. A Man may love a Thing, or Person, very well, and yet not shew too much Fondness.
Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 51:
Frae thence he flew straight to the Kirk: In this he prov'd as daft a Stirk, To look for Peace.
Bwk. 1755 G. Ridpath Diary (S.H.S.) 21:
The Presbytery met there to visit kirk and manse.
Sc. 1761 Magopico 31:
A kirk mouse, that can make a denner upo' the dustings o' pews.
Sc. 1776 E. Topham Letters from Edb. 190:
During the time of Kirk, you scarcely see any body in the streets, or loitering away the time of prayer in wantonness and excess.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Tam o' Shanter 31–32:
Catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xix.:
The auld kirk stood as crouse as a cat when the fleas are caimed aff her.
Hdg. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 II. 194:
An eminence, . . . half a mile to the South of the Great English road, and a mile west from Gladsmuir Kirk.
Dmf. 1875 P. Ponder Kirkcumdoon 90:
An adherent, I tak it, means ane that sticks by his ain kirk, an' no a flee about.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 105:
I got mesel' ready an' aaf I set for the Kirk.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge iii:
It is set in that same parish, dominated less by the medieval castle brooding on the hill or the heritor land-owning families than by the ministers and elders in the small thatched kirk of Dundonald's early years and the little stone one which rose later in its place.
Sc. 1991 R. Crombie Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 29:
The shilpit mune of autumn
Keeks wanly thro the mirk,
The manse stauns bien and doucelik
In the yaird ablow the kirk.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 94:
... no one could remember the last time he had brought his wife with him, and her wearing the same green coat she wore to the kirk.
m.Sc. 1998 Lillias Forbes Turning a Fresh Eye 18:
They'll aye come for ye, loupin oot their kists
Een bleezin as het coals,
Corbies wi knablick nebs,
Stookie saunts o the kirk,
Queer wizzent carls an quines.
ne.Sc. 2004 Aberdeen Evening Express (10 Apr) 16:
Just where the forest road joins the main road a large stone sits on top of a plinth. Turn right on to the main road and continue past the Kirkie, ...

Hence (1) kirker, a church-goer, one who attends church. See also II. 4. below; (2) kirkfu', a churchful (ne.Sc., Ags., Per., m.Lth., Ayr., Dmf. 1960), fig. a crowd; (3) kirkie, -y, enthusiastically devoted to church-going and church affairs (Ork., Abd., em.Sc., Ayr., Gall., Rxb. 1960; Sh., Bnff., Ags., Ayr., Rxb. 2000s). Also kirkielike; (4) kirkish, churchy (Bnff., Ags. 2000s); (5) kirkless, (a) of a minister: without a church (Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Poems 12; Sh., Ags., Fif., Lth. 1960); (b) of a layman: not attending church, not a member of a church (Dmf. 1960); (6) kirkward, towards the church (Sh., Lth. 1960).(1) Abd. 1928 J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 19:
Winter! A' the kirkers pliterin' Throwe snaw-bree, or on slipper stiterin'.
Abd. 1956 J. Murray Rural Rhymes 44:
Far better than kirkers I cud name Wha aften scorns the poor.
(2) Ags. 1921 V. Jacob Bonnie Joann 30:
Weel was't he couldna see the smile That a' yon kirk-fu' had the while.
Sh. 1960:
Bairns, der a kirkfu o you here.
(3) Ayr. 1921 D. McNaught Truth about Burns 148:
She was “kirky” to a degree and addicted to pet-pastorism.
m.Sc. 1994 John Murray in James Robertson A Tongue in Yer Heid 99:
keeks doun an smiles upon her cat, whae curious tae see her wark sae late at een wimples atween warm limbs an purrs sae deip an kirkielike an sib untae an organ peep that she blesses him fae deip inwith her hert.
Sc. 1997 Herald (10 Apr) 22:
Harry Dutch, son of the manse, came from what the Scots call a Kirkie family. His older brother took to the ministry and died young, which profoundly affected Harry's outlook.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 47:
Lizzie Mathers clattered the brakfaist ashets in a roose. She wis feel kirkie, Mrs Mathers, an cudna thole it fin her man lichtifeed the darg o Kirk-gyang.
(4) wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 2:
She is not unlikeable though, and her mother-in-law's kirkish moral superiority towards her puts us very much on her side.
Sc. 1995 Scotsman (1 Dec) 13:
But despite these deeply Presbyterian, kirkish, socially conservative, emotionally repressed and typically Scottish responses, I want to praise the Convention and pay tribute to a very significant day.
(5) (a) Bnff.2 1942:
Aye! he preaches fyles, bit I doot he'll be kirkless a' his days.
(b) Edb. 1801 H. Macneill Poet. Wks. II. 49:
After a Sunday's feast — or pascal, Wi' you, ye kirkless canty rascal.
Bnff.2 1942:
John streeve wi' the session an' he's been kirkless this twinty year.
(6) Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xl.:
When six braw gentlemen Kirkward shall carry ye.
Sc. 1832 Blackwood's Mag. (June) 996:
And much they talked upon their kirkward way.
Sc. 1918 Weekly Scotsman (29 June) 2:
The fragrant hawthorn on the bye-road that took us kirkward.

2. Specif.: the Kirk (o(f) Scotland), the Church of Scotland, reformed in 1560 and established finally under Presbyterian government in 1688. The form Church in this sense had superseded Kirk a.1700 in official records but there has been a tendency in recent years to restore the Sc. form in informal writings and speech, and hist.Sc. 1709 in R. Wodrow Corresp. (1842) I. 18:
I fear his successor, Sir David Dalrymple, will not be so friendly to the Kirk.
Sc. 1785 Boswell Letter to People of Scot. 25:
Your Kirk, your Presbyterian establishment, stands just upon the same ground of security as the Court of Session does.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Ordination iii.:
This day the Kirk kicks up a stoure: Nae mair the knaves shall wrang her, For Heresy is in her pow'r.
Bwk. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVI. 355:
The Seceders are not above 1 in 12 in proportion to the adherers to the Kirk.
Sc. 1811 W. Aiton Agric. Ayr. 682:
The Kirk of Scotland has long been so much sneered at, all over England, that even Scotchmen begin to be ashamed of using the term.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xii.:
The kirk, of whilk, though unworthy, I have yet been thought a polished shaft.
Lnk. 1838 J. Morrison McIlwham Papers 8:
I'm now an Elder in the true Kirk o' Scotlan'.
Fif. 1863 St. Andrews Gazette (3 Oct.):
The two [Established] Churches are not to be merged, but the smaller one is to be submerged. The Kirk is not asked to negociate, but to surrender . . . We presume it is into the bosom of the Church of England, and not into that of the Scottish Episcopal Church, that the Kirk is invited to throw herself.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxii.:
The Kirk o' Scotlan' restor't till her richtfu' claims, or leavin' her manses, kirks, an' stipen's for the sake o' her spiritual liberties.
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick i.:
The Bill's passed an' the Kirk's doun.
Sc. 1947 Scotland (Meikle) 42:
In the Presbyterian Church of Scotland — the Kirk — all the ministers had equal status.

II. Phrs.: 1. kirk and (or) market. church and market, i.e. in all the public affairs of life (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 95). Gen.Sc. Hence in various expressions to connote public(ly), at all times, for all to see or use, e.g. kirk and market road, a road used by persons going to church or market, gen. held to constitute a right-of-way (Abd. 1960); to go to kirk and (or) market, Sc. Law: to appear in public assemblies, as a proof of soundness of health and mind, in reference to the making of deeds prejudicially affecting one's heir in heritable property. See 1838 quot. and Deathbed (Law of). This provision has been obs. since 1871; 2. kirk and (or) mill, similarly used as in 1. to comprehend the public activities of life. Hence to mak a kirk (†and) or a mill o, to do whatever one wishes with, to make or mar, to use as one pleases, gen. implying indifference on the part of the speaker; orig. to make the best of (a thing). Gen.Sc. Cf. the similar Swed. expression kyrka eller kvarn; 3. kirk and queer, a tug-of-war (Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. vii. 248). See Queir; 4. (the) A(u)l(d) Kirk, (1) the Established Church of Scotland (cf. I. 2.), as opposed to other Presbyterian denominations, in use esp. freq. after the Disruption of 1843. Also attrib. Gen.Sc. Hence Auld Kirker, a member of this church; (2) a jocular name for whisky. Gen.Sc. See also Auld; 5. to come into the body o' the kirk, fig. of someone sitting apart: to come forward and join the main company. Gen.Sc. Also the body o the kirk, the core of a place or group of people; 6. to keep the kirk at, to retain one's membership on the Communion Roll of a particular church, though living outside its parochial boundaries (Abd., Ags. 1960); 7. to neither big kirks nor place ministers, to be engaged in some questionable activity (Abd. 1868 J. Riddell Abd. and its Folk 12; ‡ne.Sc. 1960); to fritter one's time away; 8. to ride (on) the rigging o' the kirk, to be an excessive partisan of one's own church (Gall. 1902 E.D.D.; n.Sc., Ags., Fif., Kcb. 1960). Cf. 1721 quot. s.v. I. 1.; 9. to rob da kirk to pey da choir = Eng. “to rob Peter to pay Paul” (Sh. 1960).1. Sc. 1722 W. Forbes Institutes I. iii 87:
By his going free and unsupported to, and returning from Kirk or Market in Day-time, when People are there gathered together, after the Deed quarrelled.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 39:
Wad ye dress a dead woman, she'll never gang to kirk nor market a' her days again.
Ayr. 1793 Burns There was a Lass i.:
At kirk and market to be seen.
Sc. 1821 Scott Pirate iv.:
Owned by them at kirk and market.
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Katie Cheyne (1874) ii.:
I maun gang to kirk and market wi' an antenuptial collar about my neck.
Sc. 1838 Bell Dict. Law Scot. 258:
The deed will not be reducible ex capite lecti, if it can be proved, that after the date of the deed, the granter appeared publicly at kirk or market; it being absolutely presumed, that if he was able to do so, he was not in such a state of weakness as to fall within the reason of the law.
Sc. 1861 J. Robertson Angling 98:
A “kirk and market” road will be found leading to the right over the hills.
Inv. 1884 Crofters' Comm. Rep. App. A. 53:
Many who may be seen at kirk or market with fairly good, sometimes even with showy articles of outward dress, are very frequently obliged to neighbours for the loan of these.
Per. 1895 I. Maclaren Auld Lang Syne 10:
When Hillocks went abroad to kirk or market he made a brave endeavour to conceal his depression.
Abd. 1957 Bon-Accord (5 Sept.) 8:
A . . . pleasant fella tae meet at kirk an' market.
2. Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 252:
Make a Kirk, and a Mill of it. That is, make your best of it.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xcvii.:
I'll gie him the estate o' Wylie to mak a kirk and a mill o't wi' her.
Mry. 1828 W. Gordon Orig. Poems 209:
Dinna tak' a pridefu' limmer, . . . Try to get a frugal lassie, Either fit for kirk or mill.
Sc. 1828 Lockhart Scott lxxv.:
Poor Gordon has got my leave to make a kirk and a mill of my Sermons.
Sc. 1838 W. Bell Dict. Law. Scot. 155:
They are not empowered to shut up any horse or foot road to Kirk or mill.
Slk. 1875 Border Treasury (27 March) 394:
He . . . threw the siller at me, an' bad me gang an' make a kirk an' a mill o't.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 30:
Doo's welcome ta mak' a kirk an' a mill o' him.
Gsw. 1933 F. Niven Mrs Barry 21:
Circumstances are to a great extent what we make of them. You remember the old saying, “You can mak' a kirk or a mill of it.”
Rxb. 1960:
To mak a kirk an a mill out o nowt — to make a fuss about nothing, a mountain out of a mole-hill.
Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 12:
Some said that it wis hairdressin'
An' ithers a souvenir shop
Wis she makin' a kirk or a mill o't?
Weel - we a' expectit a flop.
Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 6:
But like all boys I was born to be bad. There's your bairn, God had said, make a kirk or a mill of him for all I care. And like Pontius Pilate he went and washed his hands.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 18:
Ta-ta poetry! I'm leavin ye
Tae gyang bummin on wi'oot me -
Tae makk a kirk or mill o't.
4. (1) Sc. 1807 J. Hall Travels I. 225:
For his part, the old kirk was good enough for him.
Rxb. 1913 Kelso Chron. (7 March):
But if they dinna want tae gaun tae th' ither U.F. Kirk th' Auld Kirk's big eneuch.
(2) Lnk. 1890 J. Coghill Poems 128:
Whisky for me — a dram o' guid Auld Kirk!
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 324:
I pat da air o' Ald Kirk i' me mooth.
5. Sc. 1989 Scotsman (22 Mar) 16:
However, with the Grand Committee only five minutes into its deliberations, who should turn up with the proverbial snow on his boots but Michael Martin. Norman Hogg duly invited him to take the chair, and prepared to find a place in the body of the kirk. But this, he was told by a committee clerk, was against standing orders.
Gsw. 1990 Ian McGinness Bannock 56:
If he transgressed, he would be sent back from whence he came. The body of the kirk reacted to him as an invasive presence. As his religious paranoia developed, he saw spaces being cleared in front of him in the church hall as if he had an infectious disease.
Sc. 2000 Herald (9 Oct) 25:
My room was in this separate building, and while those staying in the main part of the hotel have verandas, with views over the River Tay, from the gate house you can see a car park and someone's back garden.
To be fair, the room had attractive reproduction furniture, an en suite bathroom, coffee-making facilities and Sky TV, but as the price is the same in the body of the kirk, it would be worth asking what is available before booking.
6. Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxxii.:
In Bailie MacCandlish's time we keepit the kirk, whilk was most seemingly in his station.
7. Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 213:
Nae biggin' kirks nor yet placin' ministers — Doing nothing of importance.

III. Sc. Combs. : 1. kail-kirk, see Kail, n., 5.; 2. kirk bell, a church bell; 3. kirk-book, -buik, one of the official record books of a church, containing the minutes of the Kirk-session, the accounts, the parish register, etc. (Ork., Kcb. 1960); 4. kirk-box, the money box in which the fund for the benefit of the parish poor was kept. Cf. Box, n.1, 1.; 5. kirk-brod, = Brod, n.1, 6., q.v. (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); †6. kirk-clachan, a village or hamlet which has grown round a parish church. See Clachan; 7. kirk claes, †ecclesiastical vestments; one's Sunday clothes. Gen.Sc.; 8. kirk-cough, a low, smothered cough, such as is heard amongst a congregation in a church; 9. kirk-door, church-door, in phr. to do a thing at the kirk-door, “to do a thing openly and unblushingly” (Lnk. 1825 Jam.; Ags., Fif., Lth. 1960); 10. kirk due, a tax or levy imposed for various church purposes, as the upkeep of buildings and furnishings, the provision of the Communion elements, officer's fees for attendance at ceremonies in the church, etc. (Lnk. 1825 Jam.); 11kirk elder, = elder; 12. kirk-folk, -fo(w)k, (1) church-goers, frequenters of the church, those attending a particular service, the congregation (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Gen.Sc.; †(2) church officials, ecclesiastics; 13. kirk-ganger, church-goer, kirk-ganging, -gawn, -g(y)aun, church-going. See Gae, Gang. Hence kirk-gaunfolk, = 12. Gen.Sc.; kirk-gaun-trot, a slow, steady, or sedate pace of walking to church meant to accord with the solemnity of the occasion; 14. kirk greedy, very zealous in attendance at church (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 95; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 208; ne., m. and s.Sc. 1960). Gen. with neg. Also attrib.; 15. kirk haken, id. (Ork. 1960). See Hocken; 16. kirk-haly, “good, as far as attending church is concerned” (Kcb.4 1900); ¶17. kirk-hammer, the clapper of a church bell; †18. kirk-herd, a pastor, minister. See Herd; 19. kirk-hoast, = 8. (Ork. 1960); †20. kirk-hole, the grave, graveyard. Cf. 53. (3); 21. kirk-house, a type of church community centre, started about 1956 at Perth and Aberdeen; †22. kirk-keeper, one who attends church regularly; 23. kirk-lad(d)le, a small box on the end of a long handle, for the taking up of the collection, still in use (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 303; ne. and em.Sc.(a), m.Lth., Ayr., Kcb., Rxb. 1960). See Ladle; 24. kirk-land(s), church lands, glebe lands (I.Sc., m.Lth., Ayr. 1960); 25. kirklike, quiet, as if in church (Sh. 1960); 26. kirk-loom, a piece of church furniture. See Lume; 27. kirk-man, (1) an ecclesiastic (I.Sc. 1960); (2) a loyal attender at church (Sh., ne.Sc. 1960); 28. kirkmark, a hare-lip (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1960). Hence kirk-market, hare-lipped (Jak.). Cf. 52.; 29. kirk-master, an official appointed from a public authority to take charge of the fabric and building of the parish church. Also called Master of the Kirk Wark. Now hist.; 30. kirk-mense, a decent appearance in dress suitable for attending church (Sc. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 96), gen. in phr. to gie (claes) kirk-mense, to wear a new article of clothing at church for the first time (Dmf. 1919 T.S.D.C.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Bwk. 1960). See Mense; 31. kirk-occasion, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper as observed by the Presbyterian Churches, twice or four times annually. See Occasion; 32. kirk-officer, -offisher, the official who attended the Kirk Session and carried out its edicts, now in practice the Beadle, who acts as the church caretaker and sexton, attends the minister in the pulpit and in country parishes is also freq. the gravedigger. Gen.Sc., now usu. anglicised as church officer; 33. kirk-pad, = 36. See Pad; 34. kirk-port, church door or gate. See Port; ‡35. kirk-reekit, bigoted (Kcb.3 1929); 36. kirk-road, a road or path used as of old by parishioners in going to the parish church and constituting a right-of-way (ne.Sc. 1960); 37. kirk-session, the lowest court in the Presbyterian Churches in Scotland, consisting of the minister and the elders of the congregation, and exercising its functions of church government within a parish. Also attrib. Hence kirk-sessionally, in the function of a kirk-session; 38. kirk-shot, a section of a river where salmon-nets are shot, adjacent to a church. See Shot. In 1935 quot. erron. used as = churchyard; 39. kirk shune, -shoon, shoes kept specially for going to church (I.Sc., Kcd., Ags., Fif., Lth., Dmf. 1960); 40. kirk-skail(ing), the Dispersal of the congregation on the conclusion of worship (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ork., ne.Sc., Ags., Lth., Ayr., sm.Sc., Rxb. 1960). See Skail; 41. kirk sookan, see Sookan; 42. kirk sparrow, the white wagtail, Motacilla alba, or pied wagtail, Motacilla yarrellii (Sh. 1955 L. Venables Birds, etc. 142); †43. kirk-spulyie, spoliation of a church, desecration. See Spulyie; †44. kirk stent, = 10. See Stent; 45. kirk-stile, †-staill (Wgt. 1709 Session Bk. Glasserton MS. (10 Feb.)), a narrow entrance into a churchyard closed by bars, a wicket or an arrangement of steps (Sc. 1825 Jam.), common as a place of public resort, where meetings were arranged and announcements made, and where the bier was received into the church-yard at funerals. Sometimes used as the name of a house or farm near the churchyard; 46. kirk-supper, a celebration held after the kirking ceremony (Gall. 1825 Jam.). Cf. IV. 2. (3); 47. kirk-thesaurer, church-treasurer (Inv. 1708 Inv. Session Rec. (Mitchell 1902) 50). See Thesaurer; 48. kirkto(u)n, -town [′kɪr(k)tən, ′kɪrk′tun], the village or hamlet in which the parish church is situated. Also applied to the farm adjacent to the church, freq. in place-names (Sc. 1685–1722 W. McFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) II. 1.). Gen.Sc. Also attrib.; 49. kirk tune, one of the twelve church tunes formerly in sole use in the Presbyterian church. See Twelve; 50. kirk wadder, weather good enough for going to church (Sh. 1960); 51. Kirk Week, the name given to a week during which a conference of church members is held to discuss church and social problems; 52. kirk-wipe, a club-foot, the kind of lameness resulting from a club-foot (Dmf. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XI. 96, 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 339). Hence kirk-wiped, club-footed. Cf. 28.; 53. kirkya(i)rd, a churchyard. Also attrib. Phrs.: (1) kirkyard deserter, a very aged or infirm person or one who looks weak and emaciated through illness (ne.Sc. 1960); (2) kirkyaird hoast, also kirkyard cough, gen. in jocular usage, a cough which appears to indicate some mortal disease, a churchyard cough (Ork., ne. and em.Sc.(a), Lth., Ayr., Kcb. 1960). Also in form kirkyairder, id. (Abd., Kcb. 1960) and cheat-the-kirkyard (Ayr. 1960). Cf. Hoast; (3) kirkyard hole, = 20.; (4) kirkyaird spit, cf. (2) above; (5) to take the kirkyard gate, to go the way of the grave, to die; 54. kirk-yett, church gate (Ags. 1960). See Yett.2. ne.Sc. 1952 John R. Allan North-East Lowlands of Scotland (1974) 213:
About the time when the shadows grow out from the woods and the river mist creeps up and the kirk bell sounds ten, a long shrill of the whistle ends the game.
3. Abd. 1746 W. Forbes Dominie Depos'd (1765) 37:
In the kirk-book it would be listed.
Abd. 1865 G. Macdonald Alec Forbes lxxxiii.:
I can fin' oot the date frae the kirk-buiks.
4. Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S) I. 23:
To get a Mends of whinging Fools, That's frighted for Repenting-Stools. Wha aften, whan their Metal cools, Turn sweer to pay Gar the Kirk-Boxie hale the Dools Anither Day.
Abd. 1739 Auchterless Session Rec. MS. (11 June):
The Charges for lyme and workmanship for pointing the roof of the Church . . . should be payed out of the Kirk-box.
Ags. 1763 Arbirlot Session Rec. MSS. (23 Feb.) 277:
To Geo. Nicol for a New Kirk-Box, for holding the poor's Money, Papers, etc. . . . £3. 18. 0.
Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVIII. 554:
At last, in 1697, he was obliged wholly to leave his church and delivered up the kirk-box, and above 500 merks in money contained therein.
Ayr. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 V. 687:
The good old spirit of Scottish independence, which once spurned the kirk-box.
6. Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard Bearer xiv.:
Seven cot-houses at the Kirk-Clachan o' Shankfoot.
7. Wgt. 1875 W. McIlwraith Guide (1877) 55:
The Queen's “chapel graith”, or “kirk-claes”, were also carried with them in two coffers.
Lth. 1882 J. Strathesk Blinkbonny xii.:
This only reached to the ankles, and was, as all her “kirk-claes” were, of douce black.
8. Dmf. 1913 J. L. Waugh Thornhill 250:
On entering the house of affliction Grace M'Vey gave a “kirk cough” and sat down.
9. Fif.10 1942:
He's nane o' the sleekit folk: he does a'thing at the kirk-door.
10. Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 226:
Pay down the kirk-dues, and come back to the stool the morn, four pound, and a groat to the bell-man.
Slg. 1792 G. Galloway Poems 49:
To pay Kirk-dues takes cent for cent, For our briggs an' our water.
Lnk. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XV. 57:
£40 or thereabout, is raised by assessment; the mortcloths and kirk-dues make up for the rest.
11. Edb. 1994:
My kirk elder was very kind when my husband died.
Abd. 2000 Herald (2 Oct) 21:
He was a bowler, a Kirk elder and a lifelong Dons supporter, ...
12. (1) Abd. 1875 W. Alexander My Ain Folk 176:
The throng of the “kirk fowk.”
Mry. 1883 F. Sutherland Sunny Memories 147:
Meetin' country-kirk-fowkies in cairties and gigs.
Sh. 1898 W. F. Clark Northern Gleams 134:
The “kirk-folk” linger for a while in front of the church.
wm.Sc. 1989 Anna Blair The Goose Girl of Eriska 138:
That was the state of affairs in the year 1684 when an outed minister in Galloway was holding field conventicles and loyal kirkfolk were bravely attending them.
Sc. 2001 Edinburgh Evening News (26 May) 10:
What a relief," said one Edinburgh worthy. "This week has been bad enough, what with fat ministers taking up all the seats on the bus and little old ladies with bad perms and Bibles invading John Lewis. Scotland needs more Kirk folk in the same way the Tories need Ann Widdecombe."
Sc. 2004 Press and Journal (13 Feb) 16:
Who said kirk folk can't enjoy a knees-up?
(2) Edb. 1801 J. Thomson Poems 46:
Kirk-fo'k are but a greedy set.
Sc. 1820 Scott Monastery iv.:
You kirk-folk make sic a fasherie about men shifting a wee bit for their living!
Abd. 1881 W. Paul Past and Present 28:
I'm the sister of the bellman . . . and ye're the dochter o' the minister . . . ye see, Miss Hutcheon, we're baith kirk folk.
13. Per. 1802 S. Kerr Poems 59:
Nor had he far his kirkgawn claes to seek, For whar he coost them aff, still lay they yet.
Edb. 1816 Scott O. Mortality viii.:
We're wi' decent kirk-ganging folk o' your ain persuasion.
Dmf. 1822 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 437:
Strode away with the worthy couple at a decent pace, gradually amending his speed, until it became what our Cameronian Seceders are pleased to call a kirk-gaun-trot.
m.Sc. 1893 A. S. Swan Homespun xi.:
I'm no a kirk-ganger, but I'm gaun to hear Erskine.
Ags. 1907 D. Tasker Readings 51:
Is yer granny deid, that ye come like that, I' yer kirk-gaun claes, an' yer lang lum hat?
Abd. 1922 G. P. Dunbar Whiff o' the Doric 12:
I hinna been a kirk-gyaun chiel, bit noo I'm gyaun tae men'.
m.Lth. 1922 “Restalrig” Sheep's Heid 41:
Kirk-ganging is a duty; hardly a habit.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 47:
She wis fell kirkie, Mrs Mathers, an cudna thole it fin her man lichtifeed the darg o Kirk-gyang.
14. Per. 1883 R. Cleland Inchbracken 73:
She herself [was], as she admitted, “no kirk greedy”.
m.Lth. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick i.:
The workin folk, wha had no' been kirk-greedy at ony time.
Sc. 1901 C. G. Gardyne Life of a Regiment I. 7:
Though imbued with a strong religious sentiment I doubt if the Highlanders of that time could be called “kirk-greedy”.
Abd. 1955 Abd. Press & Jnl. (12 Oct.):
If our Protestant schools adopted a similar pattern and laid a foundation on which the minister could build on a Sunday, perhaps we would see the development of a more “kirk greedy” community.
15. Ork. 1960:
Am no sae kirk haken as go tae the kirk in wather like that.
17. Ayr. 1787 Burns Death & Dr. Hornbook xxxi.:
The auld kirk-hammer strak the bell Some wee short hour ayont the twal.
18. Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 34:
I'se ne'er violate the law That kirk-herds strick forbids us a', Ne'er to trespass.
20. Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 44:
To change a warm fireside For a cauld kirk-hole.
Lnk. 1808 W. Watson Poems 89:
May a' its frien's be scatter't far, Or i' the kirk-hole happet.
Ayr. 1834 Galt Lit. Life III. 64:
The body carried . . . from the hearse to the kirkhole.
Lnk. 1866 D. Wingate Annie Weir 60:
And she dee't the next day, And they laid her doun in the kirk-hole.
21. Sc. 1956 Scotsman (10 Sept.):
On Saturday when the West St Nicholas Kirk House was opened in Belmont Street [Aberdeen] . . . Sir Randall referred to the Kirk House scheme as a new and vital gesture in Christian pilgrimage.
22. Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xi.:
For Miss Bertram comes on the white poney ilka day to the kirk, — and a constant kirk-keeper she is.
24. Sc. 1770 Appeal Cases Ho. Lords (Paton) II. 223:
Kirk lands are such as were anciently granted to churchmen for their livings, . . . and are still known as such, by their being described in the charters or grants, as terræ ecclesiasticæ, and are so distinguished from other lands in the parish, called temporal lands.
Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XI. 446:
The poor's funds are made up of the money collected on Sundays, and the rent of 11 acres of land, called Kirk land, amounting annually to about £25 Sterling.
Edb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 8:
Near the Craigs is a piece of land, called the Kirk-lands, extending to about five acres.
Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Bon-Accord 227:
And there it [a rock] sits in the kirk lands yet, Half buried in the yird.
26. Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 201:
Besiegit weil the mickel pu'pit; It was the Cardinal's ain kirk-loom; He brocht it in a ship frae Rome.
27. (1) ne.Sc. 1714 R. Smith Poems (1853) 91:
Kirk-men ay are greedy.
Edb. 1715 A. Pennecuik Works 114:
A Kirk-man said tell me my Heart, Who is the greatest Foe to you?
Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Bon-Accord 188:
Nane but Kirkmen daur'd to preach at peril o' their neck.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxvii.:
Some o' them's as gweed “constitutional” kirk men as yersel'.
Bwk. 1876 W. Brockie Confessional 183:
He has ready-made claes to suit Kirkman or Quaker.
29. Ags. 1858 People's Jnl. (15 May) 3:
Steeple Church . . . The Rev. Alexander Campbell, of St. James', Forfar, has intimated to the Kirkmaster his refusal to be any longer regarded as a candidate for this vacant charge.
Ags. 1874 J. Thomson Hist. Dundee 201:
The Council minute of 10th January, 1561, when a Kirk-master was appointed.
31. Slg. 1804 G. Galloway Battle of Luncarty 69:
At kirk-occasions John you ne'er could miss.
32. Ayr. 1703 A. Edgar Old Church Life (1886) II. 175:
For every marriage, whereof either bride or bridegroom or both are out of the parish, twelve shilling Scots belongs to the kirk officer, for opening the kirk door, also his collection through the church by and attour.
Mry. 1710 Elgin Kirk-Session Rec. (Cramond 1897) 323:
Servants who produced no testimonial nor appeared are to have their fees arrested at the Bailie's orders by a town and kirk officer.
Inv. 1721 Inv. Session Rec. (Mitchell 1902) 89:
Fifteen pound Scots as a half-year's salery to James Fraser, Kirk officer, for Ringing the Bells morning and evening.
Abd. 1747 Auchterless Session Rec. MS. (31 May):
Session . . . Unanimously made Choice of William Christy in Templand for Kirk Officer who is willing to serve for ten Merks Scots with the ordinary emoluments of the office yearly.
Sc. 1776 Dmf. Weekly Mag. (4 June) XIII. 416:
He hoped it would never be considered to be any part of the duty of a minister, to go about like a kirk-officer, collecting certificates for such gentlemen as wanted to sit in that house: That this was an office below even the meanest kirk-officer.
Sc. 1830 W. Chambers Bk. Scotland 423:
Each session has a “kirk officer,” who acts as door-keeper and executor of mandates.
Sc. 1871 in Erskine Institute ii. x. § 63 Note (a):
The kirk-officer or beadle would appear to be sometimes appointed by the heritors and sometimes by the kirk-session.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 28:
On Sunday Paety Meal, the kirk officer, lockid him i' the joggs.
Cai. 1891 D. Stephen Gleanings 118:
Johnny Moozie was bellman, kirk-officer, grave-digger, “girnal man,” jailer, etc.
33. Ayr. 1953 J. E. Shaw Ayrshire 51:
A church, which the surrounding population attended regularly, tramping long distances over hill and dale along what were mere tracks called 'kirk pads'.
34. Sc. 1875 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 302:
They just ower his throat like dougs driving sheep, or cluds gaun ower the mune, or the kirk-port when it's skailin'.
35. Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 316:
Kirk-reikit: used by dissenters chiefly, signifying bigoted or attached to the established kirk, or applied to those who have ill will against sectaries.
Sc. 1887 Jam. Add.:
Of one who has more zeal than religion it is said, — “He's no very kirk-greedy, but he's gae kirk-reikit.”
36. Sc. 1747 Kilkerran Decisions 515–6:
It was argued for the defender, That the act 1661, c. 41 . . . did not comprehend kirk-roads . . . A kirk-road may by the heritor of the servient tenement be changed to another place.
ne.Sc. 1881 W. Gregor Folk-Lore 97:
The party [of newly-weds] never under any consideration took a bye-path to church, however much shorter and more convenient it might be than the ordinary “kirk-road”.
Sc. 1904 J. Fergusson Law of Roads 2:
The class of way known as a “kirk-road” would seem to be more of a public right of way.
37. Sc. 1707 Acts Gen. Assembly 18:
That the Church be Governed by several sorts of Judicatories, and one in Subordination to the other, such as Kirk-Sessions, Presbyteries, Provincial Synods and General Assemblies.
Edb. 1738 Caled. Mercury (26 Sept.):
The Elders and Deacons of that Parish, being Kirksessionally assembled.
Gsw. 1763 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1912) 129:
A kirk session, in the presbyterian sense, is an ecclesiastical judicatory, consisting of a minister or two and a number of elders and deacons who have the charge and inspection of the inhabitants within a certain district or parish, with a power of discipline within their bounds, and who have the privilege of filling up their own number in case of a vacancy, and of electing a member to the presbytrie and synod, and are in all their proceedings subject to the presbytrie and superior judicatories.
Sc. 1803 South Leith Records (Robertson 1925) II. 104:
The Offices of Parochial Schoolmaster and Session Clerk in this parish being now vacant, the Ministers and Kirk Session are anxious to have them supplied, by the fittest person that can be obtained.
Edb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 I. 4:
The parochial registers . . . connected with the business of the kirk-session alone amount to twelve volumes.
Sc. 1885 A. Edgar Old Church Life 194:
The functions of Kirk Sessions were at one time much more numerous than they are now. They not only administered discipline, — rebuked and censured, kept the keys of the church, admitted into membership and expelled from membership, — but they took charge of the poor, looked after education, and superintended arrangements for burial. In short they were, in a very wide sense of the words, the local authority in their respective Parishes.
Wgt. 1953 Gall. Gazette (21 March):
Never before . . . has a kirk session house been turned into a recording studio.
Sc. 1959 Edb. Univ. Calendar 725:
Stewart (Duart) (James) Bursary — restricted to natives of the parishes of Callander or Trossachs who propose to study for the M.A. degree. Patrons, the Kirk Sessions of Callander and Trossachs.
38. Sc. a.1827 The Coble o Cargill in Child Ballads No. 242 x.:
She bored the boat in seven pairts. I wat she bored it wi gude will; And there they got the bonnie lad's corpse, In the kirk-shot o bonnie Cargill.
Sc.(E) 1935 W. Soutar Poems in Scots 31:
And yonder in the green kirk-shot Ligg Merlin and the warlock Scot.
39. Lnk. 1865 J. Hamilton Poems 247:
He dressed himself and put on . . . “his kirk shoon wi' the big siller buckles”.
40. Sc. 1819 Lockhart Peter's Letters III. 265:
When the service is over at any particular place of worship — (for which moment the Scotch have in their language an appropriate and picturesque term, the kirk-skailing) — the rush is, of course, still more huge and impetuous.
Fif. 1843 A. Bethune Sc. Peasants' Fireside 283:
Hame again At kirk-skail time she came.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 70:
“Whitten queer folk,” t'owt Herrid, “an' sic a lok o' them. Like a kirk-skailen that nivir gangs by.”
43. Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 210:
Kirk-spulyie, herriement, and raid, Gaed on mair fast than ever.
44. Rxb. 1728 Melrose Parish Reg. (S.R.S.) 153:
They ordain all wanting seats and that pay kirk stent to attend that day.
45. Wgt. 1704 Kirkinner Session Rec. MS. (4 Dec.):
Alexander Gullens house att the Kirk style.
Cai. 1709 in D. Beaton Eccles. Hist. Cai. (1909) 140:
Several light and ill-dispos'd persons, who tarry long after the publick worship is over, either about the Church or in the house of the Kirk Stile, drinking or otherwayes ill employ'd in conversation about their wordly affairs.
Ags. 1744 W. Inglis Ags. Parish (1904) 118:
To the smith for naills and mending the lock of the back Kirk-style.
Abd. 1758 Abd. Journal (16 May):
That House or Tenement of Land . . . which lyes on the north side of the eastmost kirkstile.
Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxxii.:
He turned round and gaed aff the loch by the kirk-stile.
Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of Lairds xi.:
She stood in the kirk-stile . . . and there made sic a preaching and paternoster about a defenceless widow and fatherless babies.
Slk. 1829 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. (1874) viii.:
When the death-bell of the parish church fell a-tolling, as the corpse approached the kirk-stile.
Ayr. 1885 A. Edgar Old Church Life 52:
In early records of parishes we read of Kirk stiles, as if there had been, as there doubtless were, several narrow entrances into church-yards.
Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lochinvar xxviii.:
What for did ye no' meet me at the kirk stile of Colmanel where I trysted wi' ye?
46. Dmf. 1810 R. H. Cromek Remains xviii.:
The applause at a country wedding, at a Kirn dancing, at a Kirk supper, after a bridal, satisfied the bard's vanity.
48. Sh. c.1733 in P.S.A.S. (1891–2) 201:
That none bring nor tether their horses within the decks [dykes] of kirktowns, under the pain of forty shillings Scots for each time they do so without liberty asked and granted.
Sc. 1753 W. Maitland Hist. Edb. 172:
From the North-western Corner of the Castle-hill Street of Edinburgh, as already hinted, antiently lay a sloping Way, which in a diagonal Position, ran down the Hill to the Kirktown of St. Cuthbert's. This Way I imagine was at first made, either as a Church-road, or Communication with the aforesaid Garden.
Abd. 1778 D. Loch Tour 61–2:
Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, a small kirk-town . . . Ellon, Aberdeenshire, a small village, the property of Lord Aberdeen, a kirk-town.
Ayr. 1793 Burns Tam o' Shanter 27–8:
At the Lord's house, even on Sunday, Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till Monday.
Sc. 1887 Stevenson Underwoods (1914) 55:
And aye an' while we nearer draw To whaur the kirkton lies alaw.
Ags. 1927 V. Jacob Northern Lights 3:
Abune the reek o' kirkton lums The young mune's like a threid o' siller.
Sc. 1959 Scottish Studies III. 133:
The Kirktoun was and still is simply a small group of houses near the Kirk — an arrangement commonly found in rural Scotland.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge iii:
Dundonald was still formed by a "kirktoun", built round the church, and several "farmtouns" of eight or nine cots, each group built close to one of the main houses belonging to the bonnet lairds.
49. Sc. 1755 M. Patrick Sc. Psalmody (1949) 153:
They appoint their precentors to sing only, in all time coming, the twelve church tunes commonly sung in churches of Scotland.
Mry. 1794 Ch. Speymouth (Cramond 1890) 68:
For four keys for raising the Kirk tunes.
Dmf. 1913 J. L. Waugh Thornhill 253:
She sang it to a kirk tune an' frae her very hert.
50. Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 71:
A air o' licht smoor, or saft flucker, is enouch ta satisfee der conscience dat it's no kirk wadder.
51. Sc. 1959 Scotsman (6 July) 7:
This is the second Kirk Week in Scotland, the first having been at Aberdeen two years ago. The idea was inspired by the Kirchentag in Germany.
52. Dmf. 1870 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 4) V. 30:
If a woman, while pregnant, happen to enter a churchyard and inadvertently wipe her feet upon a grave, the child which she bears will be club-footed or kirk-wiped.
53. Lth. 1701 South Leith Records (Robertson 1925) II. 3:
Robert Scoullar and John Blyth to collect att the back entrie to the Kirkyard.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Death and Dr Hornbook xxiv.:
Ye needna yoke the pleugh, Kirkyards will soon be till'd eneugh.
Mry. 1865 W. H. L. Tester Poems 113:
An odd neuk in Elgin's auld kirkyaird.
Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 194:
There's nae sic a thing 's cairryin' to the kirkyard noo.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 104:
You a' ken he's a geud peece o' rodd fae Jock's tae the kirkyaird.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 49:
My faither's wearied, a window life
scunners him wha cuid never thole
hauf-deid fowk wi kirkyaird sowls.
Edb. 1991 J. K. Annand in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 19:
A kirkyaird was my gairden,
A grave my bed o flouers ...
Ork. 2000 Orcadian (11 May) 16:
The tenders received for grass-cutting in the kirkyards and other areas were examined and awarded as follows: ... (e) St Andrews Kirkyard ...
(1) wm.Sc. 1837 Laird of Logan 196:
Bauldy mounted the beam, and thus addressed the heroes of the shuttle: “Now, ye kirk-yard deserters! — bleached blackguards! — whose legs are nae thicker than your ain pirns.”
Abd. 1847 Gill Binklets 37:
He looked more like a kirkyard deserter than a human being.
Lth. 1885 J. Strathesk Blinkbonny 253:
The aged and infirm [voters] . . . were not exempted from offensive remarks, such as . . . “Kirkyard deserter”.
(2) Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 21:
You're aye blawin' at your nose, . . . And you've got a kirk-yaird hoast.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 44:
A single-end
in a waalie close,
wi mirle, sclaffert, bleibs,
and a kirkyaird hoast.
Fif. 1985 Christopher Rush A Twelvemonth and a Day 233:
... and those freezing draughts of air drunk down in dark dawns when our numb thumbs were fiddling blindly with buttons and strings and we stood and shivered uncontrollably. And sprays of kirkyard coughs passed round like wreaths in the pews.
Ork. 1995 Orcadian (20 Apr) 15:
Oscar, the uncan cat who arrived here unbidden and took up his abode, is snoring under the window sitting on the tumble-dryer. Three weeks ago he suddenly began coughing with a real kirkyard cough.
(3) Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Trad. Tales (1874) 376:
Fill your kirkyard hole again with the black mools.
(4) Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 81:
I've got a rale bad cauld, ye see, an' wi't a kirkyaird spit.
(5) Ayr. 1882 A. L. Orr Laigh Flichts 33:
When he had taen the kirkyard gate He left her snug an' bein.
Bnff.2 1942:
Betty'll never rise again. I doot she's takin' the kirkyard gate.
54. Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1898) x.:
All flocked to the kirk-yett.

IV. v. 1. (1) To take to or receive in church (Ork., ne.Sc., Ags., Arg., Lnk. 1960), esp. for the first time after a wedding, birth or funeral, or the appointment of a civic or academic body. Most freq. used in pass. Vbl.n. kirkin(g), a ceremonial church attendance (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 303), kirknin, id. (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), †or a feast associated with this. Cf. 2. (3). Also Kirking of the Parliament, kirkin o the cooncillors, the first church service after the election of the Scottish Parliament; a council (Cai., Bnff., Ags., Edb., Ayr., Rxb. 2000s). Gen.Sc.Per. 1739 A. Nicol Poems 73:
Then Steen, a Man of Courage, came To kirk Bridegroom and Bride.
Bnff. 1754 W. Cramond Ch. Rathven (1885) 73:
Intimation made from the pulpit that none be guilty of profanation of the Lord's day, and especially at the Seatown by walking in crowds, drinking in ale houses, gathering dilse, or kirkings, it being better to bestow a little on the poor than by drinking and feasting.
Rxb. c.1800 Mem. S. Sibbald (Hett 1926) 131:
In those days in Scotland the above mentioned class of people always married on a Friday, saw their friends the next day, and were “kirked” on the Sabbath.
Sc. 1808 Jam.:
She, who has been in child-bed . . . cannot with propriety, before she be kirkit, enter into the house of her nearest neighbour or most intimate friend. Her unhallowed foot would expose the tenement to some mischance. . . . If she set her foot within the walls [of the church], it is enough. . . . A family is also said to be kirkit, the first time they go to church after there has been a funeral in it.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xliii.:
I'm to be married the morn, and kirkit on Sunday.
Ags. 1818 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 414:
On Sunday comes the kirking, the bride and bridegroom, attended by their office-bearers, as also the lads and lasses of the village, walk to the kirk, seat themselves in a body, and after service, the parishioners rank up in the kirk-yard to see them pass.
Sc. 1852 H. Miller My Schools (1858) xv.:
He “hadna been kirked for the last ten months, he was just only waiting for a rainy Sabbath, to lay in his stock o' divinity for the year.”
Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 83:
They preceded the Magistrates and Council to the Parish Church on the first Sunday after their election, to be “kirked”.
wm.Sc. 1879 J. Napier Folk-Lore 54:
There was a fear that . . . discarded suitors might entertain unkindly feelings towards her, and that their evil wishes might supernaturally influence her, and affect her first-born. This evil result was sought to be averted by the bride wearing a sixpence in her left shoe till she was kirked.
Lnk. 1883 in D. Graham Writings II. 34:
The mother was not safe from the power of fairies until she had been “kirk't”.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 172:
Ere sax months he'd marrit an' kirkit A hizzy o' half his ain age!
Ags. 1891 Barrie Little Minister xlv.:
All he had to do was to re-marry him and kirk him.
Sc. 1902 E.D.D.:
When a clergyman and his new-made wife make their first appearance in his church a brother minister gen. preaches for him, and this is called kirkin' him and his bride.
Rnf. 1904 M. Blair Paisley Shawl 25:
In Paisley, and many other places, it was the fashion for all newly-married ladies to be “kirked” in a Paisley Harness Plaid. This custom went out about 1870.
Abd. 1953 Stat. Acc.3 524:
The “Mother Church” of Aberdeen is the West Church of St. Nicholas, where Town Council and other age-old local institutions like the Incorporated Trades are annually kirked.
Ayr. 1991:
Kirking o the cooncillors, 1st Monday in August.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 33:
I am, as we say hereaboots, merriet but nae kirkit, tae ma dearie. He sailed for the New Warld tae makk wir fortune, an gied me a crookit bawbee [made me pregnant] as a keepsake afore he set aff.
Sc. 1999 Herald (22 Jun) 3:
A politically correct second verse of God Save the Queen will be sung in St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh, at the Kirking of the Parliament, it was announced yesterday by the Presiding Officer, Sir David Steel.
Sc. 2002 Daily Express (15 Aug) 13:
Councils are kirked. MSPs swear allegiance to a God (and monarch) in which many don't believe. Tony Blair appoints senior bishops, and they sit in the UK legislature.
Sc. 2003 Evening Times (7 May) 4:
The calls were made by the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, The Right Reverend Dr Finlay Macdonald, as he delivered the sermon at the Kirking of the Parliament on the eve of its second session.
Sc. 2003 Herald (15 May) 4:
The prince was seen sporting the pagan charm when he attended the kirking of the Scottish Parliament last week. Buckingham Palace confirmed the prince was wearing the bracelet - given to him by a member of the public while on a state visit to Bulgaria in March.

(2) To attend church. Rare.Dmf. 1861 R. Quinn Heather Lintie (1863) 253:
But oh, nae deil sae base coud be, As lash wi' tongue sae forkit, The glorious All-Wise Deity, An' after gravely kirk it Ilk Sabbath Day.

2. Combs.: (1) greetin' kirkin', the final ceremonial church-attendance of the outgoing Town Council. Cf. greetin' meetin s.v. Greet, v., 4.; (2) kirkin-claes, the clothes worn by a newly-married couple for the kirkin ceremony (I.Sc. 1960); †(3) kirkin(g)-feast, a celebration held after the kirkin. Cf. Back-feast, Back-treat; (4) kirking gown, a gown worn by a newly-married woman at the kirkin ceremony; (5) kirkin' plaid, a plaid of finely-woven material worn by women attending church for the first time after marriage (Ayr.4 1928; ‡Ork. 1960). Cf. Rnf. 1904 quot. above, and harness-plaid s.v. Harnish; (6) kirkin-time, the time of church service (Ork., ne. and sm.Sc. 1960).(1) Sc. 1958 Sc. Daily Express (5 May):
Edinburgh councillors attended the “greetin' kirkin'” (last church service for the retiring council) in St. Giles' Cathedral yesterday.
(2) Ork. 1922 J. Firth Reminisc. 55:
The bride's “kirking-claes” — the gown and plaid — served her for Sunday wear for many a day.
(3) Sc. 1722 W. Hamilton Wallace xii. iv.:
Crawford reply'd, Sir, I have ne'er a Guest, All this is only for a kirking Feast.
Bnff. 1785 in W. Gregor Folk-Lore (1881) 97:
A practice prevailed in the parish of people's meeting together in the publick-houses upon the Lord's Day for what they called kirking feasts, where they sat and drank and gave offence to their Christian neighbours.
Ork. 1905 Dennison Ork. Weddings 38:
About ten days or a fortnight after the wedding, what was called the “back treat” or “kirkin' feast”, was formerly held. This was intended as a return festival to the bride and bridegroom by the young men who attended their wedding.
(4) em.Sc. 1898 H. Rogers Meggotsbrae 229:
Having had three husbands she was the proud possessor of three kirking gowns.
(6) Dmf. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 652:
Deel claw me at kirking time, an that's an Annandale saying, if ye ken ought at a' anent it.

3. In a ball-game: to send into the goal, to get the ball into the hole aimed at. Phr.: †kirk-the-gussie, see quots. and cf. Gussie, 6.Ags. 1808 Jam.:
Kirk the gussie. A sort of play. The gussie is a large ball, which one party endeavours to beat with clubs into a hole, while another drives it away. When the ball is lodged in the hole, the gussie is said to be kirkit.
Bwk. 1848 Sc. Journal I. 333:
In this way the three balls are played for successively. The person who succeeds in kirking or in milling — such are the phrases — the first or golden ball, receives from the ball-men a reward of 1s. 6d., for the second 1s., and for the third 6d.
Ags. 1887 J. McBain Arbroath 332:
Another way of playing the game [of hail] was called kirk-the-gussie. The game thus played had something in it akin to golf, as the ball in addition to finding its way to the goal had to do so by first finding a lodging-place in a series of holes in the course over which it was driven.

[O.Sc. has kirk, n., 1160, v., 1. (a), c.1420, kyrkyn, c.1470; kirk-box, 1627, -brod(d), 1638, -land, c.1450, -man, a.1400, -officer, 1591–2, -sessioun, 1617, -stile, 1435, -thesaurer, 1626, -toun, c.1145, -ȝard(e), a.1400. North. form of Eng. church, cf. O.N. kirkja, O.E. cirice.]

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"Kirk n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Apr 2024 <>



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