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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

POWK, v.1, n.1 Also pouk (Abd. 1934 D. Scott Stories 36), puik (Per. 1904 R. Ford Hum. Sc. Stories (Ser. 2) 50, 109), pook (Abd. 1931 J. H. Hall Holy Man xxvii.); pukk (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); poak. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. poke. [pʌuk; puk, esp. I.Sc.]

I. v. 1.

Sc. form of Eng. poke.Abd. 1991 David Ogston in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 117:
the days gaed bleezin by
In simmer heat that birsled skin
An powkit doon intae the marra o ye.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 42:
I wis gey weariet bidin there, I can tell ye. I powkit aboot ma desk, an caad the styew frae the blackboord cloot, an drew a pictur o Miss McTavish on the boord wi a mowser that suited her rale weel.

Sc. usages:

As in Eng. Used fig., in phr. to powk up, to provoke or annoy (a person), to stir one up, rouse a person to anger, bait.Abd. 1929 Abd. Wkly. Jnl. (21 Feb.) 6:
Ye'll min' foo we powkit up the domonie at skweel on Fastern's Eve.

2. tr. or intr. To dig or excavate in a careless, clumsy way (Bnff., Ags. 1966), to damage by excavation or holing.Bnff. 1719 W. Cramond Ann. Cullen (1888) 79:
The magistrates appoint a moss grieve and appoint that none pouk or pott the mosses or cast up the lairs.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 134:
He wiz powkin, an' howkin a big hole, fin a geed in aboot.

3. To strike, esp. with the foot, to push, shove, thrust, kick (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), pukk); to butt (Ork. 1929 Marw.).Sh. 1962 New Shetlander No. 63. 26:
Da young eens pookin da baa.

4. To thump, beat, thrash, chastise. Vbl.n. pookin, a thrashing (Ork. 1958); phr. to get one's pookins, to get “what's coming to one,” “what for”.Ork. 1959:
Thee faither's better no find thee mischief or thou'll get thee pookins.

II. n. 1. A blow, esp. with the foot, a push, shove (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Dim. pookie, a variety of the game of marbles (Ork. 1923 P. Ork. A.S. 67).Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 14:
Bit the powks rained on him bi the shairp beak waurna kisses - an cast doon the last skirp o doot.

2. A hollow or hole in the ground, gen. waterlogged or marshy (Mry. 1825 Jam.; Mry., Per. 1966); “a deep hole or pit, either full, or empty” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 134). Cf. I. 2.Abd. 1770 Session Papers, Gordon v. Gordon (7 March) 12:
It was a pouk or very boggy ground.
Bnff. 1961 Stat. Acc.3 282:
Between Mains of Auchengoul and the River Deveron, are the “powks” of Auchengoul, a number of holes with what appear to be traces of rude building.

[Variants of Eng. poke, †pooke, †pouke, †pukke, with sim. vowel alternations.]

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"Powk v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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