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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TIKE, n.1 Also tyke, ty(c)k, teik(e); teck (Cai. 1921 T.S.D.C.), tek, tik (Sh.); ¶teek. [təik; I.Sc., Cai. tɛk]

1. A dog, gen. with contemptuous force, a hulking uncouth ill-bred dog, a cur (Sc. 1755 S. Johnson Dict., 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 130; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Per., Fif., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc., and in n.Eng. dial. Occas. applied to other ill-favoured or ill-conditioned animals, e.g. a sheep (Rxb. 1915 Jedburgh Gazette (27 Aug.) 2).Sc. c.1700 W. Thomson Orpheus Caled. (1733) I. 89:
And now he gaes drooping about the Dykes, And a' he dow do is to hund the Tykes.
Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 15:
As tired as a tike is of langkale.
w.Lth. 1768 W. Wilkie Fables 123:
O'er a dyke A herd came stending wi his tyke.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 29–30:
He was a gash an' faithfu' tyke, As ever lap a sheugh or dyke.
Sc. 1816 Scott Black Dwarf vii.:
If ony mischance happen to the poor dumb tyke.
Slk. 1824 Hogg Justified Sinner (1874) 493:
It says nae muckle for ony o' ye to be tearing like tikes at ane anither here.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxiv.:
They war forc't to skulk oot o' the parish, like as mony tykes wi' their tails atween their legs.
Knr. 1878 J. L. Robertson Poems 82:
His faithfu' collie, dune wi' daffin', Stood heedless o' the toon-tykes' yaffin'.
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 23:
He had a muckle tyke yt gaed wi him everygate.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 1:
Nurrin teikes snackin an yowfin an boochin.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 77:
Come in ahint, ye wan'erin' tyke!
Edb. 1965 J. K. Annand Sing it Aince 30:
Collie dug and tyke.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 37:
As usual when he had something on his mind, Bryce gnawed at it like a tyke at a bone.
em.Sc. 1992 Ian Rankin Strip Jack (1993) 95:
If he sold the flat, he could buy himself a new car, send some money to Samantha. If he sold the flat...if he moved in with Patience...'If shit was gold,' his father used to say, 'you'd have a tyke at yer erse.' The old bugger had never explained exactly what a tyke was ...
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 12:
In ain o the gairdens, while the cheyned tyke sleepit an the fairmer wis eident in the orchard, in ae neuk aa their lane, a puckle chukkens war newsin aboot their great experiences.

Combs., phr. and deriv.: (1) tyke and tryke, in confusion, liggledy-piggledy (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.); (2) tyke-aul(d), -aal, very old (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 202; ne.Sc. 1972); (3) tyke dog, a rough cur, a mongrel; (4) tyke-hungry, as hungry as a dog, ravenous (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (5) tyke's pennyworth, a great bargain. Cf. Eng. ‡dog-cheap; (6) tyke-tired, -†tyrit, dog-tired, exhausted, worn-out (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). The form tig-tired is due to confusion with Tig; (7) tyke-tulyie, a ‘dog-fight', a wrangle, fracas, brawl (Sc. 1825 Jam.): (8) tykish, cur-like, coarse and boorish (Fif. c.1850 Peattie MS.).(2) Rxb. 1819 Scott Letters (Cent. Ed.) V. 299:
Before I die or get as we say in Teviotdale tyke-auld.
Ayr. 1826 Galt Last of Lairds xviii.:
I fear I'm tyke auld.
Abd. 1913 G. Greig Mains Again 7:
Ye're nae tyke-aul' yet.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vii.:
Here's a tike-aal shargert breet o' a hen.
(3) Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags xxxiv.:
A great debate concerning this tyke dog.
(5) Ags. 1857 A. Douglas Ferryden 65:
For less than that they'll no gae out o' my creel — they're a tyke's pennyworth at it.
(6) Dmf. 1769 Session Papers, Nicolson v. Nicolson (6 April 1770) 22:
I rode double, and sat so very uneasily coming home, that I am tike-tired.
Sc. 1803 in Scott Minstrelsy III. 363:
Quhan greits the wean, the nurse in vain Thoch tyke-tyrit, tries to sleip.
Ork. 1968 M. A. Scott Island Saga 146:
It was wearying work, and the men of North Ronaldsay were “tig-tired” of it.
(7) Sc. 1716 Analecta Scotica (Maidment 1837) II. 76:
No formall battles but mobs, or as he termed them Tyke Tullyes.

2. Fig. (1) a term of reproach for a rough churlish person, a clumsy ill-mannered boor (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Cai. 1921 T.S.D.C.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Gen.Sc., also in n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1716 D. Warrand Culloden Papers (1925) II. 132:
The Tyck in the green string is G[eneral] C[adogan].
Abd. 1748 R. Forbes Ajax 19:
Fat gars you then, mischievous tyke! For this propine to prig?
Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 148:
Hard is the fate o' ony doless tyke, That's forc'd to marry ane he disna like.
Dmf. 1822 Scots Mag. (May) 636:
Auld Glencaple, the greedy graceless tyke.
Lnk. 1838 J. Morrison McIlwham Papers iv.:
Ill-sweelt tyke that he is.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 131:
I hate the tattling, narrow-minded teek.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 99:
Conf'und thee, muckel gluffis tike!
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags xliii.:
He was a weary-lookin' tyke.
Fif. 1896 G. Setoun R. Urquhart xxii.:
A feeing-fair quarrel between two men whom everybody knew to be rough tykes.
Ags. 1901 W. J. Milne Reminisc. 292:
Auld Clootie cam' hindmost, an awesome like tyke.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 37:
Ye coordy tyke.
Sc. 1931 J. Lorimer Red Sergeant xviii.:
Bein' free o' they tykes o' sodgers.
Gsw. 1972 Sunday Post (13 Aug.) 1:
Tykes, hooligans, louts and drunkards.
wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 8:
Because yon yin weel-kens whit side his breid is
And hoo to herry money oot o' maister by a hunner
Even his tyke o' a servin' man enjoys
The richt to harp and carp and criticise

(2) used somewhat more playfully of a mischievous child or rather uncouth fellow (n.Sc. 1972). Also as a nickname.Sc. 1831 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) III. 228:
Mr. Tickler's a clear-headed tyke.
Sc. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 225:
A goo and a gitty, my bonny wee tyke, Ye's noo ha'e your four-oories.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 58:
You was a wild tyke o' a laddie.
Hdg. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 72:
We may look-out for a wheen o' the tykes being here aff haun', wi' horses wanting shaeing.
Sc. 1931 J. Lorimer Red Sergeant xix.:
My laddie, though ye're an awfu' tyke.
Abd. 1970 Deeside Field No. 6. 24:
Tarland challenged all comers. Hence the nickname “Tarland tykes.”

3. The otter, Lutra vulgaris (Sh. 1777 J. Lightfoot Flora Scot. I. 10, 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928)).Sh. 1744 T. Gifford Hist. Descr. Zetland (1879) 98:
There are many otters which they call Tikes.

[O.Sc. tyk. 1475, Mid.Eng. tyke, a dog, lit. and fig., O.N. tík, a female dog, a bitch.]

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"Tike n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 13 Apr 2024 <>



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