Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1976 (SND Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

YEUK, v.1, n.1 Also (y)ewk, yeuck, yui(c)k, yuke; yowk, youk, youcke (s.Sc. 1824 J. Telfer Border Ballads 56), yook; yock, yoke (ne.Sc.); yuck, yuk(k); yuch (see II. 2.). See also Heuk, n.2, v.2 [I. and em.Sc. (a), wm.Sc. jʌk; em.Sc. (b), sm. and s.Sc. juk, ne.Sc., Fif. jok]

I. v. 1. To itch, feel ticklish or itchy, of a part of the body (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Peb. 1905 E.D.D.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc.; also fig. to be keen or eager, have a strong urge (to do something). Vbl.n., ppl.adj. yeukin, itching. Used quasi-tr. in comb. reel-yeukin, having an overwhelming desire to dance.Sc. 1747 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) 376:
My nose is uicking, which is a sign to me that we have great hazards and dangers to go through.
Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 15:
My loog does youk sae sair.
Ayr. 1796 Burns To Col. De Peyster vi.:
Thy damn'd auld elbow yeuks wi' joy.
Lnk. 1856 Deil's Hallowe'en 25:
Beneath my twa reel-yeukin cluits.
Abd. 1879 G. MacDonald Sir Gibbie xxix.:
Whan the lid o' yer e'e yeuks.
Sc. 1881 Stevenson Letters to Baxter (1956) 85:
Ye werenae fit to be an elder. I could see your elbow yeukin ower a fat collection.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xxiv.:
When I get that dry yeukin' in my thrapple.
Edb. 1897 W. Beatty Secretar xii.:
I just fair youked to hear what he would be at.
Bnff. 1910 “Camlach” Ballads 46:
The sicht o' the lang yellow corn Gars my auld fingers yeuk to be at it.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 19:
Ma paap-o-the-hass is yookin ti let oot some richt, guid, braid Haaick.
Bwk. 1940 W. L. Fergusson Poems 87:
Their heels are youkin' for the fluir.

2. In phrs. (1) one's neck is yeukin (for the St Johnston ribbon), one is heading for the gallows. See Saint, 7., (2) to (gar ane) claw whaur ane yeuks na, to (cause one to) rue one's conduct, to (make one) feel uncomfortable, by beating, scolding or other rough treatment, usu. in threats. See also Yeukie.(1) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 391:
Your Neck is youking. The meaning is, that you are doing or saying something that will bring you to the Gallows.
Ayr. 1790 Burns To A Gentleman 26:
If Warren Hastings' neck was yeukin.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary xxi.:
By my certie, some o' our necks wad hae been ewking.
Sc. 1935 Sc. N. & Q. (June) 87:
His neck's youkin for the St. Johnston ribbon.
(2) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 397:
I'll gar you scart where you youk not.
Sc. c.1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 209:
Which gart him blate, and simple look, And claw him where he didna youk.
Abd. 1853 W. Cadenhead Flights 205:
The pointer whare never it yeuk'd gar't him claw!

3. tr. or absol. To scratch (a part of oneself) (Sh., Ork., ne.Sc. 1974).Sh. 1961 New Shetlander No. 57. 24:
He gantet lood an yuck'd his breest.
Abd. 1973:
That dog's aye yockin.

II. n. 1. The itch, an itchiness (wm.Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Vocab. 25, yuik; Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 276). Gen.Sc. Also fig. of a constant irrepressible hankering (after something), sexual desire (Ags. 1974).Sc. 1718 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 69:
When their Hands he shook, Ga'e them what he got frae his Dad, Videlicet the Yuke.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 72:
Blush as gin she had the yook Upon her skin.
Sc. 1796 Sc. Musical Museum V. 500:
The jawpish and the wanton yeuks, And the howks aboon her e'e.
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck iii.:
A kind o' yuke came into my een that I could hardly bruke.
Mry. c.1840 Lays & Leg. (Douglas 1939) 15:
Does youk bespot your skin like crimson? Here's itch eradicating brimstone.
Ags. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxx.:
She ‘felt a' ower' juist as if she ta'en the yeuk.
Ayr. 1870 J. K. Hunter Life Studies 11:
All of them had the yeuk, that is, the scaw or itch.
Gsw. 1877 A. G. Murdoch Laird's Lykewake 77:
Said Mrs Tak'-Note to hersel, sair fash't wi' scandal's yeuk.
Sh. 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 240:
A undomious yewk ower da sma' o' mi back.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 101:
Aa hid tae get salve fae me mither tae aese the yuk i' me skin!

2. Anything that disgusts, from being in itself revolting or of poor quality, something which is shabby or horribly bad, poor stuff, of food, books, entertainment, or the like (m.Sc. 1974). Cf. Yeukie, 3. Sometimes in the form yuch, poss. thought of as a variant of Eng. int. ugh!

[O.Sc. ȝhuyk, to itch, 1420, ȝuik, itchiness, 1572, Mid. Du. jeuk(en), poss. in some forms also M.L.Ger. jucken, (to) itch, cogn. with O.E. ȝicce, ȝiccean, Eng. itch. Cf. P.L.D. § 35.6.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Yeuk v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: