Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DACKER, DAIKER, Daker, Dekkir, v.1, n.1, adj. Also dacher (Abd.27 1947). Cf. Dackle, v., n.1, below. [′dɑkər, ′dekər, ′dɑxər]

I. v.

1. To walk slowly, to saunter, to loiter (Bnff.2, Abd.19, Fif.1 1939); “to walk aimlessly” (Fif.10 1939); “to go about in a feeble or infirm state” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2). Also found in Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). Sc. 1822  Scott F. Nigel iii.:
And in the morning I cam daikering here, but sad wark I had to find my way.
Abd. 1946 2 :
Mak' haste, laddie, an' dinna dacker by the wye.
wm.Sc. 1835–37  Laird of Logan II. 131:
What faschit me maist, was some of my ain frien's, in daikering backwards and forwards in the square.
Rxb.(D) 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 2:
A cood fain heh dwinglt, an daikert aboot in sleepery Bosells.

2. “To engage, to grapple” (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); to interfere. Also in Wm. and Glo. dials. (E.D.D.). Bnff. c.1927 13 :
He wis feart to dacker wi it.
Abd.(D) 1742  R. Forbes Ajax (1755) 8:
I dacker'd wi' him by mysel.

3. “To be engaged about any piece of work in which one does not make great exertion; to be slightly employed” (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., dekkir); known to Slg.31939. Cf. w.Yks. dial. daker, to work overtime; to spin out work for the purpose of making overtime (E.D.D.). Gen. with on: to jog along; sometimes with with: to co-operate. Sc. 1818  Scott Rob Roy vi.:
There's aye . . . something to ripe that I would like to see ripen, — and sae I e'en daiker on wi' the family frae year's end to year's end.
Sc. 1825  Jam.2:
One is said to daiker in a house, to manage the concerns of a family in a slow but steady way. One daikers with another, when there is mutual co-operation between those who live together. They are said to daiker fine, when they agree so well as to co-operate effectively.
Sh. 1939 3 :
Dir nothin' for it bit ta dekkir on till du's done.
Edb. 1894  P. H. Hunter J. Inwick v.:
You and me'll daiker on thegither fine.
Peb. 1793  Carlop Green (ed. R. D. C. Brown 1832) ii. 30:
They daker on, and tak' and gi'e Baith kindness and abuse.

4. “To truck, to traffic” (Lth. 1808 Jam.); to strike a bargain. Cf. section 2. Abd. 1931 5 :
“Did ye dacker aboot the calf, man?” “Oh, tye, we made a bargain.”

II. n.

1. A stroll (Bnff.2 1939). wm.Sc. 1835–37  Laird of Logan I. 272:
We . . . used to take a bit daiker to the country to see how the gowans . . . were growing.

2. A struggle, a noisy, wrangling dispute. Also found in n.Eng. dial. (E.D.D.). Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore 23:
For they great dacker made an' tulzi'd strang, Ere they wad yield an' let the cattle gang.

III. adj. “Hesitating, uncertain, undecided; applied to a person who can't make up his mind, and to the weather when nnsettled” (Lnk., Rnf. 1887 Jam.6). Also in Eng. (mainly n.) dial., applied to weather (E.D.D.).

[The root meaning seems to be “to waver, to totter”; this meaning appears in Eng. from 1668 and is still found in Eng. dial.; cf. Mid.Du. (Flanders) daeckeren, to flutter, to move about, to brandish or shake (Kilian). With the meaning of “to bargain,” daker occurs in O.Sc. 1692 (D.O.S.T.).]

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



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