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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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.

PLUNK, v.2, intr. To absent oneself from school without leave, to play truant (wm.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; m. and s.Sc. 1966); to go away and hide, to conceal oneself, skulk; tr. to play truant from (the school), to dodge. Deriv. plunker, a truant (Sc. 1825 Jam.; m. and s.Sc. 1975); a recalcitrant horse, a jibber (Sc. 1880 Jam.). Also fig.Gsw. 1809 D. Murray Old College (1927) 562:
“Plunking the class”, he continues, “was so frequent as to cause numerous rows in Jammy's class, the absentees on their return being taken for strangers.”
Rnf. 1840 Private MS. per wm.Sc.1:
I saw Jean Anderson cast Sabbath and yesterday. On the afternoons of both days she was plunking.
Edb. 1876 J. Smith Archie and Bess 16:
I'll no plunk the schule ony mair.
Arg. 1905 Argyllshire Herald (11 March):
'Twas there we hid oor books an slates when we did plunk the schule.
Lnk. 1909 W. Wingate Poems (1919) 71:
'Twas a bonnie day — and a day o' dule The day I plunkit the Sawbath schule!
Ayr. 1945 B. Fergusson Lowland Soldier 25:
He plunkit the school And catched with a preen Seven trouts in the Gigmagog pool.
Wgt. 1951 Gall. Gazette (27 Oct.):
In the country district around Stranraer he has heard of pupils “skipping” the school, “plunking” the school and “bulking” the school.
Per.1 1964:
You've tae count a hunder while we go and plunk.
Gsw. 1969 George Friel Grace and Miss Partridge (1999) 206:
... a juvenile delinquent who had plunked his way through a dozen schools on both sides of the river, a vagrant who had come to our douce land as territory where his name had travelled ahead of him and endured him respect.
wm.Sc. 1979 Robin Jenkins Fergus Lamont 30:
It had made Jack plunk the school the very next day.
Gsw. 1991 Anna Blair More Tea at Miss Cranston's 139:
The only time I plunked the school was to see Earl Haig going along Great Western Road.
Arg. 1992:
We used tae plunk the school up here.
Ayr. 1993:
'Where's Jamesie the day?' 'He's plunking it. Ye'll no see him in Home Ec.'
Ayr. 1999:
Plunk the skill.
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 171:
'Whit d'ye mean, whit's happening?'
'Why did you plunk it?'
'Oh. Dinna ken. Somethin's gettin tae me.'

[Orig. uncertain. Jam. suggests an extended meaning of Plunk, v.1 (cf. 1., (1), 2. (1)). Cf. also Plug, v.2]

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"Plunk v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 May 2024 <>



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