Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
LEEK, n. Sc. usages:
1. In deriv. and phrs.: (1) as clean as a leek, whole, wholly, complete(ly), thoroughly (m.Lth. 1960); ¶(2) leek-rife, of soup: full of leeks; (3) like a new leek, like a new pin. Cf. (1); (4) sour leek, the common sorrel, Rumex acetosa (Rxb. 1876 Science Gossip 79; Kcb. 1960). Also in Ir. dial.; (5) to chowe the leek, to submit to the inevitable, to make the best of a bad job.
(1) Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shep. i. i.:
For now, as clean's a leek, Ye've cherish'd me since ye began to speak. Ags. 1833 J. S. Sands Poems 90:
He had sic power intil his tail O' magnetism, he drew ilk nail, … Out o' our ship as clean's a leek. Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 34:
Ye did your wark as clean's a leek — Ye'd split a hair. Clc. 1870 Alloa Advert. (7 Jan. 1922) 3:
John's heart was aye as clean's a leek, But noo he's dead. (2) Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 50:
O quegh o brose! wi' milk, or fat, An' leek-rife kail, wi' guid sheep's pate. (3) Sc. 1876 Bk. Sc. Story 51:
She'll keep yer hoose like a new leek. (5) Lnk. 1873 A. Murdoch Doric Lyre 76:
Doun mischanter's brae We a' maun trudge, an' chowe the leek.
Adj. leeky, used fig. of the hair: like the leaves of a leek, lank, straight and flat, having no curl (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.).
2. A wild plant, phs. of the Allium or garlic family, the roots of which are plaited into a loop or noose to catch small fish.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Sc. Verses 109:
Where the leek or the haun o' maraudin' skule wean Never kittled the wame o' the wee whiskered bairdie.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Leek n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Jul 2018 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/leek>
Try an Advanced Search