Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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KNIBLOCH, n. Also knibblach, -lock, knib(b)lack (Abd. p.1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shep. (S.T.S.) 173), knublack, -ock. [′knɪbləx, -ək]

1. A small, rounded stone, a boulder, a hard clod of earth, a knot, knob, or lump in gen. (Sc. 1808 Jam.), a small piece, a chunk, as of cheese (Ayr. 1880 Jam.; Mry.1 1925); a lump, a swelling raised by a knock or blow (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems Gl.); fig., a small insignificant person (‡Abd. 1960). Cf. kneeplach s.v. Kneep, n., 1. Sc. 1716  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 69:
But a thrawn Knublock hit his Heel, And Wives had him to haul up, Haff fell'd that Day.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 61:
But as luck was, a kniblack took his tae, An' o'er fa's he, an' tumbl'd down the brae.
Sc. 1812  Popular Opinions 87:
Their hurdies o'er wi' ugly humplocks clad; When colley chac'd them o'er the howms and fells, The knublocks rattled like a bag o' shells.
Sc. 1827  C. I. Johnstone Eliz. de Bruce I. xii.:
Leddy 'Lisbeth is drapping double brandy for him on a knublock o' sugar.
Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 139:
Shav'n-crowns . . . That glisten'd in the mornin'-licht Like marble knublocks burnish't bricht.
Kcd. 1889  Stonehaven Jnl. (14 March):
We hae an abundance o' knibblachs an' rowin' steens.
Abd. 1915  H. Beaton Benachie 133:
I widna hae a knibloch o' a crater like him, tho' he wis laird o' a' the kwintry-side.

Hence knibblockie, adj., of a road: rough, stony (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).

2. A projection, barb. Abd. 1852  A. Robb Poems 114:
I tried in vain to pluck it [harpoon] out, For siccar held the knibblach.

[A dim. in -loch of *knib, Knub, variants in the series Knab, Knib, Nib, knob, nub.]

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



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