Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SNECK, n.2, v.2. Also snecke, snek(k).

I. n. 1. A notch, a slight cut or incision (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., snek; I.Sc., Cai., Ags., Per., 1971); an indentation in an animal's horn as a sign of age. Also in Eng. dial. Phr.: to put a sneck in 'e crook, to mark an unusual event, such as the coming of a rare visitor (Cai. 1916 John o' Groat Jnl. (7 Jan.)). Cf. hack in the crook, s.v. Cruik. Bnff. 1750  V. Gaffney Lordship Strathavon (S.C.) 283:
On the coeys hornes two sneckes.
Ork. 1757  Session Papers, Galloway v. Morton (12 Nov.) 198:
The Grain weighed was put into a Bag, and took the Weight half Way betwixt the Crosses of the Meil, and the next Sneck or Notch.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 95:
Gin we the gully guide na now wi' can, 'T may chance to gee's a sneck into the hand.
Sh. 1957  Sh. Folk-Bk. III. 55:
Du's hae some mair snecks i dy hoarn afore du gets ta wadder o aald Lowrie Leask.

2. The power or the act of cutting; also fig., a cutting remark, a snub (Cai., Ags., Per. 1971). Sc. 1814  Scott Waverley xli.:
If there's a pair of shears in the Highlands that has a baulder sneck than her's ain.
Ags. 1868  G. Webster Strathbrachan II. iv.:
My snecks hae gi'en him a bonny begeck.

3. A dip in the ground, a saddle between hills (Sh., Bnff. 1971). Also sneckie. Ags. 1896  J. Stirton Thrums 68:
Cairn Inks rises in a bold and steep slope from the sneck close to the first cairn.
Abd. 1955  Scottish Field (Aug.) 37:
Beinn a Bhuird and Beinn Avon are linked by a high saddle known as the “sneck”.
Sh. 1961  Scottish Studies 185:
Quoting the Fless and the various “hands” connected with that rock, we have “Over the Fless”; “through the Sneck of the Fless”.

4. A small inshore fishing ground (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), snekk). Jak. considers the usage to be the Sc. equivalent of skorr, q.v., s.v. Skur. Sh. 1964  Norden Lichts 54:
Some o dem at da inshore codlin snecks.

II. v. 1. tr. To cut sharply, to cut into, to snip off, to prune, to notch (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh., Cai., Bnff., em.Sc., Ayr. 1971). Also in Eng. dial. Phr. to sneck 'e kettle-crook, to mark an important event (Cai. 1930). Cf. n., 1. Abd. 1760  Session Papers, Earl of Fife v. Farquharson (3 July) 10:
As it is difficult to keep down the young Trees in the other Parts that are not plowed up, he roots them up, or snecks them over, how soon they begin to raise their Heads above the Heather.
Sc. 1817  Scott Rob Roy xxxii.:
Do the folk think I hae another thrapple in my pouch after John Highlandman's sneckit this ane wi' his joctaleg?
wm.Sc. 1854  Laird of Logan 156:
Mony a ane o' my acquaintances hae gotten the thread o' life sneckit.
Fif. 1883  W. D. Latto Bodkin Papers 42:
Wi' a fell swoop o' her heuk she sneckit aff my head.
Mry. 1908  J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 91:
It niver gya me muckle trouble tae sneck doon an awcre or twa.
m.Sc. 1933  J. Ressich Thir Braw Days 30:
There wisna a sneckit thrapple amang the lot.

2. To strike sharply. Also in Eng. dial. Sh. 1877  G. Stewart Fireside Tales 46:
I'll sneck da limmer atween da een da first time I meet her.

3. To surpass, to beat (Abd., Kcd., Ags. 1971); to outclass, trounce. Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 91:
Really yon fair sneckit a' thing.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) 133:
I'll sneck him afore iver he sees the croon heid.
Abd. 1921 ,
That snecks a'.

4. Fig., to snub, to reduce to silence, to “shut up”. Dmf. 1894  J. Cunningham Broomieburn 86:
Mony a lass wad hae sneckit ane afore he had said half as muckle.

[O.Sc. snekk, to cut, 1560. Of uncertain orig., phs. chiefly imit., or phs. related to Eng. snick, id., which appears much later.]

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"Sneck n.2, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Oct 2018 <>



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