Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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EEMOCK, n. The ant (Knr.1 1949; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). Also emmack; eemach; eemack; eemich; emock; imo(c)k; immick (Sc. 1880 Jam.5; Per. 1902 E.D.D.); emmock (Lth., Rxb. 1825 Jam.2); eemick (Fif., Lth. Wilson); emmick (Per., Fif., Lth., Ib.; Ags.18 1947); eemake, -uck, emmic, -ock (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); and reduplicative form †imaky-amaky (Slk. 1825 Jam.2). See also Emmerteen. [′imɔk, -ʌk, -ek, -ɑx, -ɪ, ′ɛm-] Edb. 1773  R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 59:
He taught auld Tam to hale the dules, And eidant to row right the bowls Like ony emmack.
Lnk. c.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 117:
The imock-powder began to operate.
Rnf. 1850  A. McGilvray Poems 123:
The odds from emocks up to whales.
m.Sc. 1870  J. Nicholson Idylls 33:
A' 'bout trees, an' ferns, an' mosses, Eemocks, eft-stools, birds an' bees.
Lnk. 1902  A. Wardrop Hamely Sk. 32:
Does Professor Drummond really . . . think that mothers ance were Eemicks.
e.Lth. 1905  J. Lumsden Croonings 40:
The crouds are a' asteer on ilka knowe, An' scour about like eemacks!

Hence applied to persons of diminutive stature; a fairy, “an imp” (Bch. 1916 T.S.D.C. II., eemach; Abd.2 1943). Ags. 1914  I. Bell Country Clash 21:
Mak' it braw firm, for thae little immicks'll think naething o' tearin't doon.
Abd. 1922  J. Wight in Swatches 65:
We'll . . . link it ower the green wi' the fairies, the green-cwitet wee eemachs. [Ib. p. 66, eemich.]

[An altered form of emmet, ant, under the influence of the -ock dim. ending. O.Sc. emot, imot; Mid.Eng. emete, O.E. mette, id.]

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"Eemock n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Feb 2019 <>



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