Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BYKE, BIKE, Beik, n.1, v.1 [bəik]

I. n. Given in N.E.D. s.v. bike as north. dial. Gen.Sc.

1. “A nest or hive of bees, wasps, or ants” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Sc. [1862]  A. Hislop Proverbs (1870) 320:
Where the scythe cuts and the sock rives, hae done wi' fairies and bee-bykes.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 103:
Nae henny beik, that ever I did pree, Did taste so sweet or smervy unto me.
w.Dmf. 1908  J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo (1912) vi.:
My heid's been bizzin' like a bum bee's bike.

2. Extended uses.

(1) A dwelling, a habitation. Known to Abd.9, Abd.19, Lnk.3 1938. Sc. 1806  R. Jamieson Pop. Ballads I. 293:
For nocht but a house-wife was wantin' To plenish his weel-foggit byke.
Lnl. 1881  H. Shanks Musings under the Beeches 323:
Oh, man! 'twill be a cauldrife byke For that fell sodger Maister Lousie.
Edb. 1915  T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 107:
Ye're ten times fules, an' ten times waur, To slave in sic a byke.

‡(2) (See first quot.) Given by Cai.7 1938 as obsol. Cai. 1771  T. Pennant Tour in Scot. 1769 157:
The corn is thrashed out, and preserved in the chaff in bykes, which are stacks in shape of bee-hives, thatched quite round, where it will keep good for two years.
Cai. 1932  Proc. Soc. Antiq. of Scot. (Jan.) 136–137:
A byke I measured . . . held about ten quarters of corn.

(3) “A heap of corn fresh from the flail and ready for ‘keerin'” (Cai.7 1938).

(4) A swarm or crowd of people (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.1, Fif.10, Lnk.3 1938). Ags.(D) 1922  J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden xv.:
Juist yesterday efternune there was a byke o' little bit taeds frae the Loan cam' into the shop.
Ayr. 1826  Galt Last of the Lairds iii.:
There was na a blither bike o' drowthy neibours in a' the shire.
Slk. 1822  Hogg Perils of Man III. 287:
Ye'll get the flower of a' the Chisholms, and the best bairn o' the bike.

(5) “Any hidden collection of small matters” (Nai. 1813 W. Leslie Gen. View Agric. Nai. and Mry., Gloss., beik); see also quot. Known to Cai.7 (obsol.), Bnff.2 1938. Tweedd. 1825  Jam.2:
A valuable collection of whatever kind, when acquired without labour or beyond expectation. Thus, when one has got a considerable sum of money, or other moveables, by the death of another, especially if this was not looked for, it is said; He has gotten, or fund, a gude bike.

II. v.

1. Of bees: to swarm (Bnff.2, Abd.9, Ags.1 1938). Also fig. Vbl.n. byking, a crowd, a swarm. Abd. 1790  A. Shirrefs Poems 358:
And bees first pair'd afore they byket, Or gather'd honey.
Rxb. 1821  A. Scott Poems 97:
For 'tis weil kend by mony ae ane, The lads about me byket.
Slk. a.1835  Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) VI. 95:
We haena cheer for oursels, let abe for a byking o' English lords an' squires!

2. To dwell. Hdg. 1905  J. Lumsden Edb. and Country Croonings 56–57:
A stranger bykes i' the fine farm he wraucht sae mony years.

3. To collect. Knr. [1886]  “H. Haliburton” Horace in Homespun, etc. (1925) 180:
An' mony a groat — na! that's a bam'! The bawbees biket when they cam'.

[O.Sc. byke, bike, etc., n., earliest quot. c.1420, (1) a hive (of bees), a nest (of ants); (2) a dwelling or abode; (3) a swarm, esp. of persons; v., 1606, to close in as in a hive; of obscure origin (D.O.S.T.).]

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"Byke n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/byke_n1_v1>

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