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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SWINK, v.3, n.2 Also freq. form swinkl(e), -el (Cai.).

I. v. 1. intr. Of a liquid: to splash about in a container, to plash, gurgle, ripple (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), swinkl, 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1972, swinkel); to make a shaking side-to-side motion.Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928):
Swinkle upo yon lamp to see if der'r ony øli in it.
Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. 123:
For he wad drink far mair drink Than a' that in his wame can swink.
Sh. 1960 Shetland Hamefarin 14:
An da witless waves is swinklin I' da daandrin, dimmer nicht.

2. Fig. To be full of drink. Ppl.adj. swinklin, in liquor, drunk, “sozzled.”Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 86:
Whinever he cam' hame swinklin'.

3. To tilt (a vessel containing water) (Cai. 1972).

II. n. In dim. form swinky and by-form swanky: the common earth-worm (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1972, swinky, swanky).Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 321:
Like a peerie laveric leukan for a swinky fae hid's minny.
Ork. 1931 J. Leask Peculiar People 265:
A worm — a common “swinky.”

[Appar. ad. Dan. svinke, to move this way and that, to roll, wriggle. Cf. also for the -le form Norw. dial. svingla, to sway, tumble, skvinkla, to ripple.]

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"Swink v.3, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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