Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SEECK, adj., n. Also seek, seik, sick, sike. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. sick. See P.L.D. § 41. Hence seikly (Ags. 1708 W. M. Inglis Angus Par. (1904) 53), seikness (Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 131). [sik]

I. adj. 1. In combs. and derivs., freq. with adverbial intensive force: (1) sick-fu, full to bursting, ready to disgorge; (2) sick-laith, extremely unwilling, very reluctant (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.); (3) sickness, used specif. of a disease of sheep, braxy (Sc. 1807 Prize Essays Highl. Soc. III. 362; Ork. 1969); (4) sickrife, seekrif(f), (i) sickly, slightly ill (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ‡Abd., em.Sc. (a), Lnk. 1969). Now liter.; (ii) of pasture-ground: tainted with sickness in sense (3) above; (iii) sickening, nauseating, lit. and fig., tiresome (Ags. 1958); (5) sick saired, -sair(t), thoroughly sated or bored, sick to death (Abd., Ags. 1825 Jam.; Ork., ne.Sc. 1969). Also in phr. sick and saired, id. See Ser, and (7) below; (6) sick-sorry, id. (wm.Sc. 1825 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); very sorry (Ork., Cai. 1969); (7) seek-stawed, -staaed, = (5) (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; w.Lth., Peb., Dmf. 1969). See Staw; (8) sick-tired, id. (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Cf. Eng. sick and tired. (1) Peb. 1793  R. Brown Comic Poems (1817) 120:
Wi' Gowk-hill-news sick-fu' . . . To spew his budget-fu' o' tales.
(2) Edb. 1796  A. Steel Twa Cuckolds 11:
“I'll be sick laith” quo' Will.
s.Sc. 1897  E. Hamilton Outlaws xvii.:
Somehow I'm sick-laith to leave her.
(4) (i) Sc. 1920  A. Gray Songs from Heine 29:
Wha are you, and what ails you, You sickrife stranger loon?
(ii) Peb. 1829  Trans. Highl. Soc. I. 55:
Sickrife is a pastoral word, and, applied to pasture, signifies that sickness is the prevailing distemper among the flocks.
(iii) Fif. 1867  S. Tytler Diamond Rose II. iv.:
I've been picking the hips as I travelled along, but they are sickrife, they are no a treat like the ripe brambles.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 81:
The doonstair room gets that het an' seekrif.
Fif. 1938  Daily Record (23 June):
When an irate wife calls her husband a “seekriff baste”, she means merely that he is a tiresome creature.
Fif. 1969  :
Ach, ye're fair seekriff. I simply canny be fasht wi' ye.
(5) Abd. 1801  W. Beattie Parings (1813) 16:
At last, sick-sair'd o' cards an' drink.
Ags. 1894  F. Mackenzie Cruisie Sk. xvi.:
I am sick saired o' him, an' he maun get anither man.
Abd. 1929  J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 4:
I'm sick an' sair't o' steerin' streets.
Abd. 1958  People's Jnl. (19 July):
The bottle steid in the winda a' winter til the guidwife wis sick sair seein't.
(6) Arg. 1898  N. Munro J. Splendid xxiii.:
I was sick sorry that we had set out upon this adventure.
Fif. 1909  J. Colville Lowland Sc. 137:
No mercy was shown to him that said he was “deid sweer”, or would be “seek sorry”.
(7) Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 19:
A'm seek-staaed o the wundy aippeen an the putten-on mimpeen.
(8) Rnf. 1861  J. Barr Poems 11:
I'm sick tired o' a bachelor life.
Rnf. 1928  G. Blake Paper Money viii.:
I'm sick tired listening to you.
Edb. 1931  E. Albert Herrin' Jennie 107:
I was seeck-tired o' the auld late-nicht.

II. n. An attack of illness, an indisposition. Obs. in Eng. n.Sc. 1808  Jam.:
The sick's na aff him.

[O.Sc. seik, ill, 1375. The form seeck is the normal development of O.E. sēoc. The short vowel in Eng. sick is unexplained.]

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"Seeck adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Oct 2018 <>



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