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

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Nek, Neck, n.1 Also: neke, necke, nec(c, neek, neak, nak. [ME. and e.m.E. nekke, necke, (14th c.) nek, neck, OE. hnecca the back part of the neck.]

1. The neck of a person or animal. The hund … gan him ta Rycht be the nek and till him dreuch; Barb. vii. 468 (E).
And strik Symonis nek intwa; Leg. S. i. 362.
Hayre scho had, quhyt & streke, Rekand na forthire na hir neke; Ib. xviii. 226.
Wynt. iv. 1241.
A strake … with a drawin suerd in the nek; Hay II. 43/9.
Nec; Alex. (Taym.) 1554.
Henr. Fab. 577 (Bann.).
Wall. i. 241.
Sum in the nek gaue me feil dyntis dowre; Doug. Pal. Hon. 650.
Quhill preistis come in with bair schevin nekkis; Dunb. xxvi. 28.
Heich vp hir nek strekand forgane the son; Doug. ii. viii. 62.
Ib. iv. 66, xii. i. 16.
Hurkland with huides into our neck; c 1540 Glencairn in
Knox I. 73.
For wantones, sum braik thare neckis; Lynd. Compl. 182.
Clariodus … laid him on his hors nek him before; Clar. v. 2349.
I pray the deuill to brek thy nek; Rolland Seven S. 2711.
Ib. 2881.
Leslie 82.
[He] strak him … throw-out the nek; Pitsc. I. 55/5.
With hurklit hude ouer a weill nureist neck; G. Ball. 105.
Diurn. Occurr. 67.
Bot sche culd not refrain from putting hir hand in his nek to kittle him smylingly; Melville Mem. 120.
Ane lang lynning courche … quhilk he threw about hir neck or craig; 1627 Justiciary Cases I. 73.
1629 Ib. 102.
To stand with their necks in the haskes of the said pillory; 1674 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. IV. 134.

2. In various allusive, proverbial, and figurative expressions. a. With hele: see Hele n.1 2 for further examples. He … all bedret him Evin quyte from nek till heill; Dunb. xxvii. 84.
Imprison the soger neek and hieells in fetters; 1679 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. VI. 644.
Otherwise he would cause tye him neck and heal; 1696 Inverness Kirk S. 66.

b. In the neck of, = on top of, immediately after. (But cf. also Nik n.) — In the neck of this comes intelligence; Herries Mem. 24.

c. (Of punishment, disaster or the like) to strike one in the neck, to overtake one. Bot dowt siciyk sall stryk thé in the neck; Dunb. xx. 36.
Reprevit him … Of the same thing straik him self in the necc; Stewart 16069.
For of ane thing he tuke so greit ane feir The quhilk sone followit efter in effect Or euer he wist it straik him in the neck; Ib. 21598.

d. (Of a charge) to lie on one's nek (= upon one). — Evyrmar the charge [of sin] lyis on thar nek; Doug. vi. ix. 208.

e. To stoup the nek, to submit. — The nek to stoup quhen it the strake sall get, Is sone eneuch; Henr. Fab. 1766 (Bann.).

f. With the fig. use of Ȝoke n. A mane … That Godis ȝok bare on his nek; Leg. S. xxvii. 812.
That he wald put in yhok hys neke; Wynt. vi. 1982.
Syne thow wald hawe put hys neke In till thi yhoke; Ib. 2051.
I mon draw furth, the ȝok lyis on my nek; Doug. Pal. Hon. 1411.
Of thame that puttis thair nek this ȝok to draw; Bann. MS. 263 b/26.
The Scottis King frome the King of Britannies nek brak the Romane ȝok; Dalr. I. 190/17.
And the judges Haif enterit thair nekis vnder the ȝoke of theiffis; c 1616 Crim. Trials III. 587.
O then! put in ȝour necks under the yoke and lend a lift; Pitcairn Spiritual Sacrifice 285.

g. The hair in one's neck: see Hare n.2 1 fig. and Hair n.1 2 in Additions and Corrections, vol. III.

h. To have ane ey in one's nek, to look behind one, be circumspect. An eye in one's neck to (something), a backwards glance at, an inclination or leaning towards. He suld … Be circumspek and in his nek Ay haue ane ey all time and tyde; Rolland Seven S. 6389.
Albeit there be some ounce weights of carnality and some squint look or eye in our neck to an idol, yet love in its own measure may be found; 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1891) 491.

i. In other expressions. To lay one's lugs on one's neck, see Lug n. 2 c (8). To gif one nibill in the nek, see Nibill n. Quhen he is gane giue him ane geck And tak another be the neck; Philotus xiv.
Your taile is as tender as a Gordon's neck (who cannot endure to be hanged for hurting of it); 1658 R. Moray Lett. 1/10 May.

3. A neck (of mutton). 1631 Buccleuch Household Bk. 29 Oct.
1664 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 521.

4. The neck or collar of a garment. Also appar., a neck-band. To be ane set in nek to ane veluet slop … half ane quarter velvet; 1533–4 Treas. Acc. VI. 185.
To lyne the nek of ane abirioun, half ane elne veluet; Ib.
To be nekkis and ruffis to his graces sarkis; 1550 Ib. IX. 453.
Thair gounis ar … Barrit with veluous sleif nek and taillis; Maitland Maitl. Q. ii. 12.
Lynnyng bukrem to the nekkis and craigis [of gowns]; 1580 Treas. Acc. MS. 18.
Tua collaris & tua neckis; 1583 Edinb. Test. XII. 179 b.
Thre reid gouns with slewis and nekis; 1600 Mill Mediæv. Plays 206.
I being nixt under him caught him be the cott neak; Melvill 139.
[Necke (= ) band; Lowther's Jrnl. 43.]
For nak and buistes to your suitt; 1646 Boyd Fam. P. No. 184 (27 June).
Mair giwin for ane nak buitnitt to the clok; Ib.

5. Attrib. Of or for the neck. Neck-button, ‘an ornamental button worn at the neck of a seventeenth century doublet or coat’ (C. R. Beard). Hys gorget or hys nek armyng; Doug. xi. i. 27.
xvj nek buttones for clokis; 1628 Edinb. Test. LIV. 293 b.
Along neck buttoune with silver and gold head and ey; 1648 Thanes of Cawdor 307.
Ane nek chenȝe of gold; 1576 Edinb. Test. V. 28.
Ponil, a necke chaine; Despauter (1617) 55.
For iii elnis holland claith to be twa nek claithis; 1531 Treas. Acc. V. 423.
20 dozen seamens neckcloaths valued 40 d. [¥2/0/0]; 1673 Leith Customs 5.
Thre elnis of rence to be nek courcheis to the Kingis grace; 1537 Treas. Acc. VI. 338.
A quhit hyde to be brestledderis and nekledderis to hamys; 1496 Ib. I. 293.
iiii ellis holland claith to be nek schetis; 1526 Ib. V. 298.
iij vlne … pannj Britannee pro le nektowellis, price x s.; 1525 Household Bks. Jas. V 69.
Deliverit to Johne Murray, barbour, iii ellis holland claith to be nek towellis; 1526 Treas. Acc. V. 298.

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"Nek n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 11 Apr 2021 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/nek_n_1>



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