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

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Crak, Crake, n. Also: crakk-, crack. [ME. crak, crack (c 1300), also later crake, related to Crak v.]

1. A sudden sharp or loud noise as of something breaking or bursting; an explosive report or sound.(a) 1375 Barb. xvii. 250.
Gynis for crakkis had he nane, For in Scotland yeit than … The oys of thame had nocht beyn sene
Ib. xix. 399.
Twa novelreis that day thai saw, … The tothir crakkis war of wer, That thai befor herd neuir eir
c1420 Wynt. viii. 3407.
Lattand a crak, that men mycht here
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 243.
Apon my fete I sprent, Amang the clewis so carefull was the crak
Ib. xxxviii. 3.
The ȝettis of hell ar brokin with a crak
1513 Doug. iii. viii. 138.
Sum tyme it … stanys vpwarpys in the ayr … , with mony crak and rayr
1533 Boece xii. xiii. 479 b.
Sa terribill blastis of thunnyr with sa horrible crakkis reirdit
1549 Compl. 42/15.
I hard the cannons and gunnis mak mony hiddeus crak
1567 Sat. P. iii. 71.
Scho … baid fra bed vntill sho hard the crak, Quhilk was ane signe that hir gude lord was slane
a1578 Pitsc. II. 39/15.
The … artaillȝe schott on ilk syde with ane terrabill sound … lyk into the crak of thoundar
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 112.
It … gef sic ane gryt crack in the fyir, that thei belewit the hows suld hef fallin doun
(b) Brus xvii. 250 (E).
Gynnys for crakys had he nane
Ib. xix. 399.
Crakys … of wer
15.. Clar. ii. 1128.
The cludis can all to rare, As it had beine a crake of thunder fell
Ib. v. 2016.
The air all rumblit with the crake of speiris
a1578 Pitsc. I. 366/2.
Witht schutting of gouns lyk crakis of thunder

2. A breaking or fissure. 1489 Acts II. 222/1.
Quhen the said gold & siluer has ony crak, flaw, or beis sovddit
1526 Reg. Panmure II. 304.
The sowme of twa hundreth merkis in gold … haill unsowdit, but crak or flaw
a1568 Scott ii. 195.
Thus hame, with mony crak & flaw, They passid every ane
1635 Stirling Royal Lett. II. 819.
A scheit of lead … more solide, less porie, and consequentlie more voyd of all craks, holls, or popill

3. A loud boast, brag, or vaunt.(a) c1500-c1512 Dunb. xiv. 36.
This to correct, thay schoir with mony crakkis
1540 Lynd. Sat. Proclam. 80.
That sall thow nocht, And all thy crackis sall be deir coft
Ib. Proclam. 137.
I ken him weill for all his boistis and crakkis
1560 Rolland Seven S. 3414.
Fra hence furth … of trew taillis thow sall not mak ane crak
1583 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 261.
He suld seay Gif he culd lerne him to obey, For all his crackis
1580-92 James VI Lusus R. 17.
The … uorde did spredde abrede belyue Of all youre crakkes & bargane that uas maide
(b) c1460 Thewis Wysmen 454.
Thai … wareis God of thar mail-es … With wowis, aithis, and crakis gret
1560 Rolland Seven S. Epil. 47.
All gude wemen thay may defy thé, Of all thy crakis thay tak na cures
a1570-86 Maitl. F. clxxviii. 105.
Wald ȝe esteme thame be thair crakis, Thay wald be Cesaris in thair actis

4. An outcry; a shout. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xv. 22.
He that dois all his best servyis May spill it all with crakkis [M. crakis] and cryis
1513 Doug. viii. Prol. 42.
The cadgyar callis furth his capill with crakkis [Sm. crakis] wail cant

5. A talk or gossip. 1570 Sat. P. xxxii. 59.
Thow hes vs baneist, thow hes vs fleit fra crakkis

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"Crak n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2023 <>



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