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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

SPINK, n.2, v.

I. n. 1. The chaffinch, Fringilla cœlebs (Slg. 1885 Trans. Slg. Nat. Hist. Soc. 62; Rxb. 1971). Also in Eng. dial.

2. The characteristic note of certain birds. Also in Eng. dial.Kcb. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy xxviii.:
The stone-chats cried Spink-spink-spink.

II. v. Of a bird: to utter the note ‘spink' (Bnff. 1971). Also in Eng. dial.Sc. 1892 Blackwood's Mag. (July) 113:
He spinks, and chatters, and vibrates his little quill.
Sc. 1951 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 113:
A chaffinch is “spinking” on a branch of the tallest birch.

[Imit. of the sound made by certain finches. O.Sc. gold spynk, 1549.]

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"Spink n.2, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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