Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DOCKEN, n. Also dockan, dokkin, do(a)ken, dochan; dokken (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), †docan (Peb. 1836 J. Affleck Poet. Wks. 80). [′dɔkən, ′dokən Sc., Ork. + ′dɔxən]

1. The dock, genus Rumex, usu. the common dock, R. obtusifolius, but also used for R. crispus (Mry. 1839 G. Gordon Flora Mry. 13; Ags. 1848 W. Gardiner Flora Frfsh. 159). Gen.Sc. Also used fig. in neg. expressions to indicate anything of little value. Sc. 1721  J. Kelly Proverbs 184:
I wo'd be very loth, and scant of Cloth, to sole my Hose with dockans.
Sc. 1724–27  Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) I. 21:
Wad ye compare ye'r sell to me, A docken till a tansie?
Ork. 1920  J. Firth Reminisc. (1922) 23:
The draught was regulated by filling up a part of the open doorway . . . by a flaikie made of heather or dochan stems woven very loosely.
Bnff. 1924  “Knoweheid” in Swatches 81:
They caretna a docken for the price te pey.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xiii.:
It disna maitter a doaken to me wha I sell till.
Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 8:
He'd gat a yokin' . . . that wou'd hae . . . garr'd his head hing like a doken.
Edb. 1772  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 7:
Lang had the thristles an' the dockans been In use to wag their taps upo' the green.
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xxiv.:
James Batter's e'e-bree became as green as a docken leaf.
Rnf. 1788  E. Picken Poems, etc. 126:
In his braid tail he bore a lance, Wad pierc't through ony dockan.
Slk. 1820  Hogg Winter Ev. Tale II. 183:
My sennins turned as supple as a dockan.
Uls. 1880  W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
When a boy gets stung by a nettle he searches for a dock leaf, and rubs it on the wounded part, repeating the charm. “Dockan, Dockan, in. Nettle, nettle, out.”

2. Phrs. and Combs.: (1) a day (nicht) amang the dockens, a day (night) spent to little purpose (Cai.3 1948, — nicht — ), see also Day, n., 3 (5); (2) docken blade, a dock-leaf (Abd.27 1948; Ags.17 1940); (3) docken-budie, a basket made of dockens (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.); (4) docken-grub, a white grub found in the docken root, used as a sea-trout bait (Kcb.10 1940), the dock-worm. (3) Sh. 1922  J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 128:
He's laagin da dokkin büddie wi' his handel apon his shooder, an' his oil cot apon his airm.

[O.Sc. dokkan, docken, etc., id., from c.1460; Mid.Eng. doken, -an, prob. from O.E. doccan, pl. and inflected sing. of docce.]

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"Docken n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Oct 2018 <>



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