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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Thek(e, Theik(e, Thatch, v. Also: the(i)ck, theyk, thea(c)k, thi(c)k, thyk, thike, thack, thattche. P.p. also thikeitt, thikittit. [ME and e.m.E. thecche (Piers Plowman), þacchen (Trevisa), thek(e (1399, north.), thicke (c1440, north.), thakkyn (Prompt. Parv.), thak (1474, Coventry Leet-bk.), thetche (Trevisa, 1495 ed.), thacke (Palsgrave, also 1552, north.), thatch (1589), ON þekja, OE þeec(e)an, þacian.]

1. To (cause) roof (a building, etc.) with lead, slates, divots, etc. (rarely straw), to provide (a building, etc.) with an outer, watertight covering. Also proverb. b. To provide the substructure for such a covering.pres. 1394–5 Liber Aberbr. II 42.
Wyllam Plumer sal theke the mekil quer … wyth lede and guttir yt al abowt sufficiandly with lede for the quhilkis thekyn and gutteryn the abbot … sal pay till hym xxxv marcis
1497 Treas. Acc. I 370.
Giffin to the man that thekis the gallory in Striuelin with scailȝee
1553 Banff Ann. I 31.
For lyme to mend the porche dwir and to pend it and to thek the samin
1624 Forbes Baron Ct. 219.
Thomas Grege for the milne off Fiddes theckis the stabill neirest the ȝard ȝett on both sydis
(b) 1461 Old Dundee II 10.
1466 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 23.
To mak the ruiffes of guid tymmer and theik thame with sclaitt
1531 Bell. Boece II 299.
1553–4 Edinb. B. Rec. II 360.
To ane thekar to theik the thre choippis
1609 Inverness Rec. II 72.
1574–5 Haddington Treas. Acc. 29.
Stra to theik the myll
1624 Forbes Baron Ct. 219.
The twa pleuches off Munkis hill theakis the lymhouse on both the sydis theroff
1625 Glasgow B. Rec. II 564.
The … miller … to mak ane skew abone the mylne-quheillis, and to theik and vphald the same and to haif ane ingle of collis thairin … for thowing the yse af the mylne quheillis, that the mylne may gang in tyme of frost
1635 Monteith Stewartry Ct. 18 June.
Tyrreing of his byre in tyme of the gret storme quhairby he was forcit to theyk the same with turves
1637 Sc. N. & Q. XII 45.
For fog to theik the queir vi s.
c1650 Spalding II 188.
He likuaies causis tir and tak af the sklaites af of thir houssis, and careit thame doun to theik ane sang scooll newlie maid wp be him
1693 Argaty Baron Ct. 16 Dec.
[The baillyie] ordaines the haill tennentis to theike thair proportionallis partis of the mylne yeirlie and keip hir wattertight
(c) 1556–7 Edinb. Old Acc. II 77.
To thik the sang schole, xxv thraves of stra
1559 Edinb. B. Rec. III 57.
To thik the southe syde of the towlbuyth with new sklait and mak the samyn watter tycht
1659 Misc. Hist. Soc. VII 40.
I causd thike the stable
1699 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 801.
[To build … the house … and to] thick it with divett [ … and thereafter to] thick it with breakenes they being laid to the house
(d) 1644 E. Loth. Antiq. Soc. IV 32.
To kast diffitis … that they may thack my barne byre hay house [etc.]
(e) 16… Bentinck Dornoch 187.
He caused thatch and cover the church of Dornogh with sleat
p.t. 1459 Reg. Paisley vi.
The body of the kirk fra the bricht stair up he biggit, and put on the ruf and theckit it with sclait, and riggit it with stane
1540–1 Ayr B. Acc. 83.
[To the slaters who] thekit the faltis [of the kirk and choir]
1596 Dalr. I 324/20.
The abbay of Dunfermiling, quhilk his father had begun, he [sc. the king] theiket
1679 Rothesay B. Rec. 374.
To goe … and see if the said Thomas hes compleited the school house builded thiked and repaired the same
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 29.
Scho biggit ane yle … pendit and theikit it wyth stane
p.p. 1387 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 11.
Alsua the forsayde v chapellys salbe thekyt abovyn with stane & water thycht
1460 Hay Alex. 11190.
The touris with siluer ouregilt war thekit all
1513 Doug. viii xi 30.
The chymmys … Quhais ruffis laitly ful rouch thekit [Sm. thykyt] war With stra or gloy
1576 Misc. Spald. C. II 44.
The rest of the north jyll was thikeitt all to fyf clayse of leid
1585 Craven Argyll Diocese 26.
My bodye to be bureit in Ecolmkill … and to be laid … in Sanct Michellis crwift quhilkes I haif mendit and thekit
a1595 Cullen Chron. Aberd. 43.
Of the quhilkis yill thair was xvi cowipill pwitt owip and thikittit with leid
1656 Cramond Kirk S. I 14 Sept.
The sessioun and heritouris … think fitt that the kirk be thackit with tylles
1620 Mylne Master Masons 110.
Quhilk kirk and ile salbe thackit with sklaitt, timberit, rigined with riggane stanes [etc.]
1677 Cramond Ch. Ordiquhill 16.
The church being theiked with heather, but the minister declaired that they wer on a way to have it shortly theiked with sklate
16… Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. III 252 (see Theking vbl. n. (1)).
proverb. 1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III 83.
This corne … is the cheif friell annexit for custody of the Castell of Lochmaben,—als meikle to say, ‘Tyr the kirk and theik the queir’
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS No. 700.
He turres the kirk to theik the queir
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 67.
Nor will I (as the Scots proverb saith) tirr the kirk to thack the cure, take from one to give to the other
b. 1511 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 103.
[To] theik the said tume witht burdis and the undir prik of the said stepil witht latht for leid

c. intr. or absol. To carry out roofing or thatching. Also, to theik and tur (Tirr v.), ture and theik, to tear off (roofing, thatch) and replace it with new.(1) 1538–9 M. Works Acc. (ed.) I 260.
Sklateris wagis … to Johne Blair and his servitour wirkand and thekand upone the wyndokis … to the samyn for vi wolkis wagis upone the rinruif abone the baikhous
1637 Sc. N. & Q. XII 44.
Giffin for bringing of fog to the scletter to theck with vi s.
(2) 1658 Melrose Reg. Rec. I 192.
[The pursuer was to] ture and theik conforme to the ordor of master and tenandrie
1660 Hawick Ann. 74.
Every inhabitant within the brughe shall have liberty to tur and theik and sett ane ladder in his neighbour's close

d. intr. as passive: To be covered with thatch. 1642 Mylne Master Masons 138.
Likewise the said flankis of the seid kirk … taken down so far that ane rooff to be mayed may theik under the eising of the body of the kirk

e. tr., and transf. To repair (a hole) with divots, as in thatching. 1667 Balmerino 414.
To men that thickit a holl in the kirk with divits 12 sh.

2. Of roofing material: To (be sufficient to) cover (a structure). 1566 Inverness Rec. I 136.
To cast alse monye dowattis … as will thek v cuppill
1663 Inverness Rec. II 216.
Alse money of the dealls … as will serve to thattche the steiple of the said tolbooth

3. fig. or transf. To cover in general. Also to thatch houses with (persons), in allusion to paucity of numbers. 1617 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 306.
If this Scogan had seine Scotishe earth his perrill of witt could newer haue suffered his hands so palably [sic] to thek his eyis
1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 553.
I do not deny but that a remnant shall be saved. But I trow, ye need not thatch houses with them that shall be saved: They will not be so many as folk think

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"Thek v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Apr 2024 <>



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