Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CHACKIE MILL, Chacky —, — Mull, n. comb. The death-watch beetle, an insect of the genus Anobium. Known to Abd. correspondents only (1939). Cf. elfmill s.v. Elf. Bnff. 1880  J. F. S. Gordon Chrons. of Keith 63:
The “Chacky Mill” or Death-Watch (occasioned by the very rapid motions of the head of an Insect in old wood boring its way) was conjectured to be a forego of Death or a Flitting.
Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas, etc. 129:
Here's ghaists . . . and wraiths . . . and chackie mills.
Abd.(D) 1915  H. Beaton At the Back o' Benachie 43:
If a death-watch, or, as it was then called, “the chackie mull,” was heard . . . those of the inmates who heard it were in a state of secret fear and trembling.

[For first element, cf. Chack, v.2, to make a clicking noise. Second element obscure.]

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"Chackie mill ". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jan 2019 <>



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