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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

RACK, n.1 Sc. usages of Eng. rack, a bar or frame of bars:

1. A framework of spars set against a wall for holding crockery and cutlery (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial. Comb. rack-stick, see second quot.Sc. 1829 G. Robertson Recollections 93:
A rack, or press of spars, for displaying the pewter plates, and stoneware of various fabrics.
Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 182:
Rack-stick. A stick with pieces of leather or holes for keeping tools in, commonly fastened to the wall.
Sc. 1871 C. Gibbon Lack of Gold xviii.:
The dishes on the rack above.
Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 23:
The “rack” above the dresser with the dishes, knives, forks and spoons is sometimes a picture in itself.
Sh. 1934 W. Moffatt Shetland 105:
A table and some cupboards, and a “rack”, which is a series of shelves often reared above the dresser, each shelf having its row of dishes and being edged in front with nice, scalloped paper.

2. A set of bars used to support a roasting spit. Gen. in pl. form racks, rax. This has been mistakenly understood as sing. and double pl. forms rackses, raxes are found.Sc. 1702 Foulis Acct. Bk. (S.H.S.) 304:
For a pair of littlehand raxes . . . 10s. 0d.
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 19:
Her Boord, Fire-side, and Facing-tools Rax, Chandlers, Tangs, and Fire-shools.
Ork. 1747 P. Ork. A.S. XII. 50:
A Collep tongs, a fire tongs, a pair of Raxes.
m.Lth. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 17:
Just like a goose, tied neck an' wing, On spit and raxes.
Ayr. 1823 Galt R. Gilhaize v.:
Is na a' the monks . . . getting ready their spits and rackses, frying-pans and branders, to cook them like capons?
Sc. 1824 Lockhart Scott lx.:
Speates and raxes ere five for a famishing guest, sir.

3. ? A shelf of spars fixed beside a bed.s.Sc. c.1830 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club (1916) 57:
The salt-plate which stood upon his breast, being by an unseen hand placed on the rack of the bed, which indicate that there was something awanting in the performance of the ceremony of sainin'.

4. A spar of wood used in feeding a mill (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Cf. obs. Eng. rack-staff.

5. The tilting board of a reaping machine (Arg.1 1937); the tail-board of a threshing mill (Id.).

[O.Sc. rakkis, a spit, 1548.]

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"Rack n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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