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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LUCKIE, n. Also lu(c)ky; lukki(e), lukka-, lokki (Sh.); and shortened form luck (Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 119, 125). [′lʌke; Sh. + ′lɔke]

1. A familiar form of address to an elderly woman, freq. prefixed to a surname = (old) Mrs. —, and with a somewhat jocular connotation much like †Eng. Goody (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 323; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Watson; n. and em.Sc., Ayr. 1961); often also implying a midwife (Lnk. 1961). Comb. Luckie Want, poverty or penury personified.Sc. 1705 Edb. Gazette (1 Feb.):
The best Oranges and Lemons, Pipens, Renets and English Aples, newly come from Abroad, with the finest Ginge bread that is to be had, are to be Sold by Luckie Law at her House in the Post Office Closs.
Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. ii. iii.:
How does auld honest lucky of the glen?
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 101:
The squire, a wee when he had chaw'd his cood, On luckie's tale, does with himsell conclude.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 24:
Ilk' hizzy scours the bog; and luckies, leal, Rin toddlin to the knowe wi' rock in han'.
Per. c.1800 Lady Nairne Songs (1908) 175:
Oh! what a randy auld Lucky is she. The Lucky maun now hae done wi' her claverin'.
Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel ii.:
The wonted livery of poor burghers' sons in our country — one of Luckie Want's bestowing upon us.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) viii.:
Lucky Bringthereout and me whanged away at the cheese and bread, and drank so briskly at the whisky and foot-yill.
s.Sc. 1832 Border Mag. 282:
A cracky body is luckie Burns [Jean Armour].
Gall. 1843 J. W. Nicholson Tales 307:
Luckie Richardson had been some hours in the lady's chamber, when the laird . . . received the joyful announcement that a man-child was born.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 121:
Now mind, aul' luckie, that I am not writin', To cleek ye'r favour by the crook o' fame.
Sc. 1875 A. Hislop Sc. Anecdotes 308:
One “luckie” on whose lungs frequent practice in crying “caller haddocks” had conferred stentorian strength.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 63:
Never tae mind the auld lucky if she cam oot an' flytit.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 19:
A'm thinkin gin aul lucky hid her wulls o's, we'd be as bare as the lads at Teuchatslap.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 24:
A girnin', mantin', wantin' lucky.

2. Specif. applied to: †(1) a wife, a married woman.Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 142:
And this he did her motto make; Here lies an honest luckie . . . O.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 116:
Tam Tamson's raging luckie Aft paiked him like a chuckie.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 7:
His kind Lucky glad did seem now.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 61:
I'm wae to see a puir man's chucky Turn out a huggry-muggry lucky.

(2) A landlady, hostess of a tavern (Sc. 1789 A. Ross Helenore Gl.; Bnff., Ags. 1961). Freq. as an epithet.Sc. 1717 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 18:
Lucky Wood kept an ale-house in the Canongate.
Edb. 1755 Caled. Mercury (15 May):
John Jap Vintner in The Abbey-hill, and Jean Denniston his Spouse (commonly called Lucky Jap).
Ayr. 1788 Burns Lady Onlie ii.:
They'll step in and tak a pint Wi' Lady Onlie, honest lucky.
Mry. 1828 J. Ruddiman Sketches 59:
Lucky Wolsy . . . keeps a stoup of good liquor.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie x.:
We'll drink your gude health in a cup o' Luckie Finlay's best.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 145:
The gawcy change-hoose luckies lauch and mulct the drunken fule.
Abd. 1873 P. Buchan Inglismill 43:
Till Luckie brings the drucken bite hersel' — Saut beef an' breid (she was a sleekit bodie) To moyen ben anither bowl o' toddy.
Sc. 1894 Stevenson Catriona xii.:
Alan must indulge himself with a bottle of ale, and carry on to the new luckie with the old story.
Sc. 1896 Henley and Henderson Burns II. 364:
Bawds and alewives were commonly called “Lucky”: as in Ramsay's Lucky Spence's Last Advice and his Elegy on Lucky Wood.
Gall. 1900 Gallovidian II. 59:
Aul' Lucky Hair's wha keepit the public at Underhill.

†(3) A witch, hag, sorceress (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 139).Lnk. 1827 J. Watt Poems 56:
Gin the kye o' milk be dryin', Some luckie's been her cantrips tryin'.
Ags. 1897 in A. Reid Bards 118:
There are luckies three wha meet wi' me On steeds o' birk an' whin.

(4) Transf. of female animals: in 1818 quot., a ewe; a broody hen (Clc. 1958).Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck vii.:
When the auld luckies rise i' the howe o' the night to get their rug.

3. A grandmother (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc. (coast) 1961). Occas. in expressions of impatience or disdain, as kiss your luckie, your luckie's mutch, = go to blazes, go and chase yourself, teach your grandmother to suck eggs.Ayr. 1707 A. Edgar Old Church Life (1885) 265:
She hae been bidden by Jean Gibson “go home and see her luky climb the walls.”
Sc. 1719 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 134:
I'll answer fine — Gae kiss ye'r Lucky, She dwells i' Leith. Note: . . . when one thinks it is not worth while to give a direct answer, or think themselves foolishly accused.
Edb. 1787 W. Taylor Poems 91:
But Whiddie, wi' her cockit lugs, Said, Kiss your luckie.
Peb. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 78:
Your luckie's mutch and lingles at it!
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 163:
My Lucky left to me a kist.

4. Combs. and Phrs.: (1) luckie-dad(d)ie, -ded(d)ie, -y, luckidady, a grandfather (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags. (coast) 1961); (2) luckiedaicus, a female worthy, a rough old woman (Per.2 1928; Ags. 1961). Cf. Pilliedacus for second element; (3) luckie-day, = (1) (Mry. 1911 Trans. Bnff. Field Club 109). Cf. Dey, n.2; (4) luckie-minnie, lukki-, a grandmother (Abd. c.1782 Ellis E.E.P. V. 774; n.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Bnff. 1927); any old woman, sometimes contemptuously, a hag, witch (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.). See Minnie. Combs. (i) lucky minny's lines, the sea-weed, Chorda filum (I.Sc. 1961). Cf. (7); (ii) luckie-minnie's oo, lukka minni's-, bog-cotton, Eriophorum (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1947 Sh. Folk-Bk. I. 84, Sh. 1961). Cf. (10); (5) luckie-mother, grandmother; (6) lucky-proach, the father-lasher, Cottus bubalis (Edb. 1808 Wernerian Soc. Mem. I. 534); (7) lucky's lines, lukki's —, the long stringy sea-weed, Chorda filum (Sh. 1845 T. Edmonston Flora Sh. 55, 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1961). Cf. (4) (i). Also ¶lucky-line; (8) luckie's manteill, yarrow, Achillea millefolium (Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) L 84). See Manteel; (9) luckie's mutch, monkshood, Aconitum napellus (Lnk. 1825 Jam.; Rnf. a.1850 Crawfurd MSS. (N.L.S.) L 84); (10) luckie's oo, lukki's u, = (4) (ii) (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 139, 1908 Jak. (1928), Sh. 1961, Sh. 1990s).(1) Sc. 1706 J. Watson Choice Coll. i. 59:
From my sweet Master's Luckie-dedy.
Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 164:
Ha'd your Feet, luckie daddie, old Folk are not feery.
Abd. 1777 R. Forbes Ulysses 15:
The gentles a' ken roun' about He was my lucky-deddy.
Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Tales 116:
Glancin' green-horns snugly laid, In Lucky Dad's ain spoon-creel.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xlvi.:
The bits o' bairns, puir things, are wearying to see their luckie-dad.
Ags. 1822 A. Balfour Farmers' Three Daughters 122:
Gif it benna at luckidady's or Whinny-know, she wadna lat on that she kent me.
Ags. 1889 J. Fotheringham Carnoustie Sk. 71:
The “silver spoon her “luckie-daddie” got frae his “luckie-daddie” on his deathbed.”
(4) Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Journal 25:
I was lying tawin an' wamlin under lucky-minny.
Ags. 1794 Tam Thrum Look Before Ye Loup 11:
'Tis just sic argument as we might expect frae our lucky-minnies.
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 163:
Now, wisna this a queer auld kist My Luckyminny left to me?
Sc. 1906 Rymour Club Misc. 173:
Peter Junker's mither, Isbel Massie, was Lizzie Lowrie's lassie's luckie-minnie.
Ork. 1910 Old-Lore Misc. III. i. 9:
Groti Finnie and Luckie Minnie were well known as the names of two witches who were frequently invoked to frighten naughty children.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 21:
Ma Lucky Minnie said I sud tak' th' besom.
(i) n.Sc. 1853 I. Gifford Marine Botanist 32:
Such is the strength of these cords, that the Highlanders are said to employ them for fishing lines, and give them the name of “Lucky Minny's Lines.”
(ii) Sh. 1952 J. Hunter Taen wi da Trow 154:
Hit smiled, as hit rubbit hits waand wi da dew, An polished hit bright wi Lucky Minnie's oo.
(5) Slk. 1721 T. C. Brown Hist. Slk. (1886) II. 100:
William seemed to have overmuch of his luckie-mother Meg Lawson's airt.
(7) Sh. 1916 J. Burgess Rasmie's Smaa Murr (Aagust 30):
Wi lukkies-lines roond da rodder, ye'll mak little wy.
Sh. 1932 J. M. E. Saxby Trad. Lore 185:
When she went to sea she got into an egg-shell and attached a “lucky-line” (a sea-weed that grows like endless ropes) to a rock.
(10) Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 180:
Minnie is gaen ta saet dee, Fur ta pluck an' fur ta pu', An' fur ta gadder luckies 'oo.
Sh. 1958 Shetland News (9 Dec.) 3:
The burra grew a white cotton-like blossom known as “Lukki's Oo,” or “Lukki Minni's Oo.” This blew off after a time, scattering the seeds. . . . “Lukki Minni” was said to be a witchie-body biding in the secluded parts of the hills. She carded her wool on da ferri-kairds, or ferns.

[O.Sc. lucky, as an epithet for a woman, a.1555. From Lucky, adj., used as an epithet with -wife, etc. or a proper name, orig. prob. with a taboo or apotropaeic intention, in case the old woman in question might be a witch (cf. I. 2. (3)); later taken as a complimentary usage, as Eng. good.]

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"Luckie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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