Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PELLOCK, n. Also pelloch, -uck, -uch, -ach, -a(c)k, -iak, -eck, -ick; paillag; paelag (Cai. 1903 E.D.D.); (pailuck Mry. 1980s); pallack, -ach, -ick, palach, -ek; pullock; erron. form penak (Mry. 1844 G. Gordon Fauna Mry. (1889) 21, Mry. 1971). Dim. and reduced forms pallackie (Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 258), pallo (Ork. 1880 Jam.), paalo (Marw.). The porpoise, Phocaena phocaena (wm.Sc. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 V. 535; Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 378; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Ork. 1929 Marw., pallick). Gen.Sc. Also attrib.

1. Comb. pellack-whale, id. (Sh. 1822 S. Hibbert Descr. Shet. (1891) 267; Ork.1 1950, pallo-whaal).Ork. 1701 J. Brand Descr. Ork. 72:
Little Whales . . . which they call spout-whales or Pellacks.
Fif. 1710 R. Sibbald Hist. Fife 53:
A Palach, a great Destroyer of Salmond.
Sh. 1732 Old-Lore Misc. IV. iii. 119:
Pellick boats paid each 3 cans of oil or £1 4s. Scots.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 17:
Gib's now gane for the Western seas Whare selchs an' pellucks whamble.
Sc. 1816 Scott Letters (Cent. ed.) IV. 176:
The charms of the sea-nymphs . . . must have fallen off very much since the days of yore, if indeed there is any similarity between a mermaid and a pellock.
Dmf. 1823 Edinburgh Star (22 Aug.):
The pellochs had followed the fish amaist up to the town, and heaps of them was catched at the Castle dykes.
Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 27:
He turned as fat as a tiestie, and as round as a pellick.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 105:
His lomos wap like pallo fins.
Ayr. 1885 J. Meikle Yachting Yarns 9:
A lass that the maister's awfu' taen up wi', or I hae nae mair gumption than a pullock.
Abd. 1925 A. Murison Rosehearty Rhymes 5:
He shot a big pellack when he wis afloat.
Cai. 1955 Edb. John o' Groat Lit. Soc.:
A “Paillag” came up an' awa' wi' wur nets.
Ork. 1952 R. T. Johnston Stenwick Days (1984) 34:
"Noo me legs is ferly numb afore thoo're been sittin' ten meenits. If thoo dinno watch theesel, thoo'll be as fat as a pallack. Or as fat as thee sister Bella," he added.
Edb. 1968 J. K. Annand Two Voices 35:
Syne, glentin doun at our fore-fit I saw
A pellock racin on afore the ship

2. Fig.: anything bulky and clumsy; a short fat person (Ork. (pallo), Bnff. 1965). Also attrib.Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 13:
The second chiel was a thick setterel swown pallach.
ne.Sc. 1791 Caled. Mercury (29 Sept.):
Yon pellac swo'n, powsoudy wife Wha brews the fusky.
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928) s.v. pall:
“A pallek o' a seth”, a plump coalfish.
Ork. 1949 “Lex” But-end Ballans 7:
Might as weel try tae meuve a hill As trail yin pallo roond de fleur.

[O.Sc. peloka (Latin MS.), 1331, = 1. Of unknown orig. Borrowed into Gael. as péileag.]

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

"Pellock n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: