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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SECK, n.1, v. Also se(a)k, sai(c)k. See also Sack. [sek, sɛk]

I. n. A sack, bag (Sc. 1887 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.), lit. and fig. Gen.Sc., also in n.Eng. dial. Comb. seck goun, the coarse garment worn by a penitent on the stool of repentance. See Sack.Abd. 1714 Monymusk Papers (S.H.S.) 19:
To carie the said quantities of meall and bear upon his own horses, secks, charged and expenses.
Per. 1729 D. P. Menzies Menzies Bk. 363:
Two Seaks, and ane pock with owl.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 26:
They put them on a black stane or stool, in the mids o' the kirk, and the seck goun about them, wi' the picture o' the de'il and Satan on't.
Ags. 1861 R. Leighton Poems 44:
Now he has gotten the guid gray cat, And he's put her in a seck.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 46:
Twa secks o' sooan sids.
Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 156:
A person of unpolished address is said “no' to hae as muckle breedin' as is needed to borrow a seck.”
Abd. 1923 Banffshire Jnl. (8 May) 10:
“She's a well-wyed seck an' laid by” . . . for a young woman engaged to be married.
wm.Sc. 1928 J. Corrie Last Day 20:
He'll gi'e ye the seck on the spot.
Abd. 1960 Stat. Acc.3 223:
“A stanin' seck fills best” (to console someone who has no seat at table).
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 90:
For aw his yirdin-claes the craw ye'll see
hes aye a braisant skinkle in his ee.
Struntin aboot the ferm on laither legs
in ilka seck an trouch an kist he'll pree,
then lowp thro boles tae lift the chookie's eggs.

Derivs. (1) seckfu(ll), a sackful. Gen.Sc.; (2) seckin, sacken, made of sackcloth; also fig. rough, plain, devoid of luxury or comfort; (3) secking, sacking, sackcloth. Gen.Sc.; (4) secky, made of sackcloth, rough, coarse.(1) Bte. 1724 Rothesay T.C. Rec. (1935) II. 680:
A seckfull of fog to the tolbooth.
(2) Bnff. 1914 R. H. Calder Glenlivet Gleanings 34:
A harn Sunday maks a seckin' week.
(3) Lnk. 1721 Burgh Rec. Lnk. (1893) 303:
For every web or piece of secking or tweeling extending to eight elns and above, two pennies Scots money.
(4) Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 90:
The ordinary servant-lass that trailed aboot fae morning tae night in a secky brat.

II. v. To put in a sack, to bag, stuff. Gen.Sc.m.Lth. 1702 J. Paterson Musselburgh (1857) 39:
Noe pocks shall be carried to the milns and immediately grunded, but that same shall be secked up in secks.
ne.Sc. 1914 G. Greig Folk-Song C.:
And ye maun winny't in your nieves, And ye maun seck it in your gloves.
Abd. 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 34:
I'm weariet o' sawin', an' sievin' an' seckin'.

[O.Sc. sekk, sack, 1375, O.N. sekkr, id., cogn. with O.E. sacc, Eng. sack.]

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"Seck n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2023 <>



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