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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

KNOCK, n.2, v.2 Also knocke (Rxb. 1702 J. Wilson Ann. Hawick (1850) 112), kinock, (Abd. 1935 Sc. N. & Q. (March) 47); (t)nock, tnoak (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 220); noak (Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–26 Wilson), and dim. knockie (Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. vii.). [Sc. (k)nok, Ags., Per. tnok]

I. n. A clock. Also attrib. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1700 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 277:
A pund of thried to be knock strings . . . £1. 0. 0.
Slg. 1702 Slg. Burgh Rec. (1889) 97:
Appointes James Dick, knock keiper, to ring the councill bell from hencefurth at nyne and twelve aclock each day in the foirnoon.
Inv. 1721 Steuart Letter Bk. (S.H.S.) 170:
Please cause bring the Earle of Morrays knock to Aberdeen.
Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 49:
Clocks are called knocks, in some parts of Scotland, from the noise they make.
Abd. 1827 J. Imlah May Flowers 142:
But wheesht! the knock's deep knell I hear, 'Tis twal — the young year enters earth.
Gsw. 1884 H. Johnston Martha Spreull xiv.:
I min' the first thing she did wis to cover up the lookin'-gless, stop the nock, and pu' doon the blinds [after a death].
Gsw. 1915 Ian Hay The First Hundred Thousand (1985) 45:
"See the kirk, in ablow the brae!" says someone else, in a pleased voice. "It has a nock in the steeple."
Ags. 1918 J. Inglis The Laird 10:
Noo, when it cam tae simmer-time, An' the tnock was shifted on, My faither cam' an' moved the hands.
m.Sc. 1950 O. Douglas Farewell to Priorsford 107:
He can turn himsel' into onything — a chair — a table — the tangs — the nock.
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 49:
nock A clock: 'Is that nock right?'
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 19:
Aa wis leukin doon oot o ma windi in the front, the knock wis jist chappin five, fin a great muckle car stoppit fair anint's, o' the ither side o the road.
w.Lth. 2000 Davie Kerr A Puckle Poems 21:
Wir Goth tow'rs leanin ow'r,
its knock stuck at hauf-past fowr.

Combs. and Phrs.: 1. knock-breist, the front of a church gallery containing a clock. See Breist; 2. knock house, that part of a steeple in which a public clock and its works are placed. Cf. obs. Eng. clock-house; 3. knock laft, a gallery in a church containing a clock or knock-house (Fif. 1960); ¶4. to go off at the knock, to go off one's head. Cf. aff at the knot, id., s.v. Knot, n.11. Bch. 1949 W. R. Melvin Poems 42:
Wi' cushions he lay snug an' saft, Ahin the knock-breist o' the laft.
2. Bte. 1714 Rothesay T. C. Rec. (1935) II. 646:
For seaven daills to the Knockhouse at 15s. per peace . . . £5. 5. 0.
Sc. 1885 A. Edgar Old Church Life 29:
A narrow inside stair led to the knock house from the east loft.
3. Lnk. 1704 J. Greenshields Lesmahagow (1864) 146:
It is agreed that there be a stent of 100 merks Scots uplifted out of the Paroch for repairing the pulpit, the knock and knockloft, and for furnishing a pulpit cloth.
Sc. 1885 A. Edgar Old Church Life 29:
The knock house stood in a little gallery called the knock loft, built against the inside of the east gable.
4. Lnk. 1895 W. C. Fraser Whaups of Durley vii.:
I wish ye binna gaun clean off at the knock wi' yoursel' a' thegither on oor han's.

II. v. To strike, of a clock.Rxb. 1702 J. Wilson Ann. Hawick (1850) 112:
He shall keep the Town's knocke in the steeple in ane good going and sufficient case and condition, without cracke or flaw for knocking and choping hourly night and day.

[O.Sc. knok, a clock, 1429, knokhous, a clockhouse, 1606. From Knock, v.1, sc. “the striker.”]

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"Knock n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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