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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

RICKET, n., v. Also dims. rickety, rickitie.

I. n. 1. A noisy disturbance, a racket, a row. Phr. to play ricket, to make a din (Ags. 1968).Rnf. 1813 G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 70:
But patience, gamesters, let the rickets rowe.
Wgt. 1885 G. Frasers Poems 228:
Great an' sma', When rickets raise an hatefu' stoor, Rush intae law.

2. Now only in dim. ricketie: an instrument, gen. consisting of a small frame whirled round on wooden ratchets to produce a clattering rattling sound, used formerly by policemen to raise an alarm or call for help, or by children or football supporters, a wooden rattle, a corn-craik (Slg., w.Lth., wm.Sc. 1968). Also in reduplic. form ¶rickety-dicketty.Sc. 1796 Poetry Orig. and Selected III. No. 15. 5:
Now rickities and trumpets come, And a' the streets wi' playocks bum.
Lth. 1813 G. Bruce Poems 18:
The rickets here an' there are heard, Sprung by drousie policemen.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 406:
Rickety-Dickety — A toy made of wood, for children.
Gsw. 1951 Bulletin (2 May):
The busloads of fanatics who descend on normally peaceful towns, complete with scarves, rosettes, banners, and “ricketies” all in the sacred name of sport.

3. In dim.: a ratchet brace or drill (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 55; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Fif., wm.Sc. 1968).

II. v. Appar. to fetch with a great noise or clamour, to keep supplying in a gay reckless way. Nonce.Ayr. 1817 D. McKillop Poems 81:
Come ricket ben the ither cog, Till owre the chairs we're tumblin' O.

[Onomat., based on earlier racket, with alteration of the vowel to indicate a lighter higher-pitched sound.]

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



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