Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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COOK, KOOK, COOG, Koog, Cooke, Couk, v.1 and n. [kuk, kug]

1. v.

(1) To disappear suddenly from view, to take cover quickly, to dart in and out of hiding. S.D.D. (1911) gives ppl.adj. cookit, hidden, secluded. Sc. 1819  J. Rennie St Patrick I. xi.:
Weel, i' the middle o' the stramash ye'll no hinner Bryan tae gang owre the burn an' couk about through the busses like a whitret.
Sh. 1900  Shet. News (10 Nov.):
I guid as naur as I could, an' dan koog'd at da back o' a brae.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Halloween xxv.:
Whyles owre a linn the burnie plays . . . Whyles cooket underneath the braes.

(2) To glance slily, to peep (as if from a hiding place). Arg. 1937 1 :
I tried tae hide behunt a big boady in the sate afront o' me, so's the minister couldna see me, but I nottist him cookan roon every noo an' again tae watch hoo I was gettan on.
Ayr. 1821  Galt Ayrsh. Legatees 271:
The eye of the public, which is of itself sufficiently prone to keek and kook, in every possible way, for a glimpse of a black story.

(3) In phr. to cook aboot, to court secretly. Ayr. 1928 4 :
He's gaun cookin' aboot her gey often.

2. n.

(1) The game of hide-and-seek; the cry given as a signal in the game (Fif.10 1937). Verb imper. used as n. Sc. 1879–88  Cassell's Dict.:
To cry cook, as children do in the game of hide-and-seek.
Fif. 1894  A. S. Robertson Provost o' Glendookie 182:
A few boys who had been playing at “coog.” [A boy is placed at a part of the street, which is for the time called a den. The others conceal themselves in doors and closes; and when all is ready they cry “coog,” when the “den” boy rushes out to discover them, and they try to evade him and get home to the den. (Author's Note in E.D.D.).]

(2) A look, a peep. Arg. 1917  A. W. Blue Quay Head Tryst 114:
He'll get a kook at himsel' . . . an' then he'll ken what's what.
Ayr. 1830  Galt Southennan I. xxxix.:
And they hadna' gaen far, for I ga'ed a bit cooke behint them, when they met auld Father Jerome.

[Not in O.Sc. and appar. first used by Burns. Origin and connection with Keek, v. and n.2, uncertain.]

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"Cook v.1, n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Feb 2019 <>



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