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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2002 (DOST Vol. XII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ȝuik, Ȝuke, v. Also: yuik, ȝhuyk, yhuke, yook, ȝoik, ȝeuk, yake. [17th c. Eng. yuck (1674), yeauke (1683), MDu. jeuken.] intr.

1. To itch, to experience an itch in a part of the body. b. With the thing that itches as subject. Also proverb.(a) c1420 Wynt. ii 574 (C) (see (b) below.)
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 130 (M).
I may ȝuik all this ȝeir or his ȝerd help
(b) c1420 Wynt. ii 576.
Alkyn kynd off gleggys als That gart thame yhuke [C. ȝhuyk, W. ȝuke] baythe hede and hals
b. a1689 Cleland 99.
Some their hair from their beards plucked And some did claw where nothing yooked
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 416.
Claw that yuiks, and seik that misteris

2. fig. a. To ȝuik to (be) the earis. Of a person: To long or crave to hear something one wants to hear. Also with the ears as subject. b. With the neck or mouth as subject: To long or crave to express a candid opinion with serious consequences. Cf. later dial. one's neck is yeukin (for the St. Johnston ribbon), one is heading for the gallows. Also proverb.a. (1) c1520-c1535 Nisbet 2 Tim. iv 3.
Tyme salbe quhen men sal nocht suffir haalsum teching, bot at thare desires thai sall gadere togiddir to thame self maisteris yaking [W., P. ȝitchinge; L. prurientes] to the eris [AV having itching ears]. And trewly thai sal turnn away the hering fra treuth, bot to fabilis thai sal turn
(b) 1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. 196.
Ȝeuking be thair eares
(2) 1581 Burne Disput. Sig. a viijb.
Sen ve se sua monie mennis earis ȝuikand to heir of licentious leuing
1581 Burne Disput. Sig. a viijb.
The tyme vil cum quhen thay vil nocht suffer healthsum doctrine, bot hauing thair earis ȝuikand, vil get vnto thame selfis ane heape of teacharis to satisfie thair luste and pleasouris, and vil turne auay thair earis, that thay vil not gif audience to the treuth, bot gif credite to fables
b. a1605 Montg. Sonn. xxvi 3.
With mightie maters mynd I not to mell … Quhais craig ȝoiks fastest, let tham sey thame sell
a1651 Calderwood IV 123.
Then said Arran, They sould tak order with him [sc. Blekburne]: the sinewes of his craig yuiked: such a proud knave come never before the king and counsell
(b) 1674 Laing MSS 397.
Apprehending there may be hazard … for me any more to speak my mynd in this meiting, quhich I conclude from the wairning that one of the right reverend bishops gave me yesternight who told me he beleived my neck wes yooking
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 997.
I trow young man your mouth yuiks

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"Ȝuik v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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