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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
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Thik, Thick(e, adj. (n.). Also: thike, thyk(e, thycht, tyk. Superl. also thiccest. [ME and e.m.E. þicke (c1200), þikke (a1250), þykke (Manning), thik (Rolle), thikke (Piers Plowman), thikk (c1400), thike (a1400-50), thicke (1535), thick (1558), OE þicce, ON þykkr.]

A. adj. 1. Thick, of relatively large extent from one side to the other or through a side. 1375 Barb. ix 336 (C).
The wallis war all of stane, Vith thik towris [E. And wycht towris]
1375 Barb. xi 367 (C).
He gert men mony pottis ma Of a fut breid round … Swa thik [E. thyk], that thai mycht liknyt be Till ane vax-cayme that beis mais
a1400 Leg. S. vii 753.
He saw a wal wes fow thyke
?1438 Alex. i 3285.
Vpon ane cod punȝeid of cottoun, Was thikker than ane actoun, Thay laid Emynedus
a1500 K. Hart 938.
To Fredome sall ȝe … fairlie beir This threid bair cloik, sumtyme wes thik of wow, And bid … that he it weir
1531 Bell. Boece I xlvii.
Gret nowmer of scheip, ilk ane gretar than ony gait buk, with hornis lang and thikkar than ony horne of ane bewgill
1582 Misc. Stair Soc. I 108.
For the thinnar that parchement be maid per rasuram, the lettir imprentis the mair as wreittaris upon parchementis thik and thin can testifie
1597 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I 269.
Thair sall be na pece of money … that sall be ane grane heavier or lichter thikker or thinner braider or naroer, ane nor another
?1549 Monro W. Isles (1884) 49.
Ane thicke dyke of rough staines
1652 Edinb. Test. LXVI 1.
xxvj daiker ane hyde of thick lethir of the first and second lair lying in bark

b. With expressions of measurement: Having the specified thickness or depth. 1547 Corr. M. Lorraine 186.
The Inglismen hes biggit ane wall of xix or xx fute thycht at the hevin of Bullonȝe
1589 Glasgow B. Rec. I 136.
Ane sufficient gangand myln with … mylnrynd and … lyar of nyne ynsche with ane thyn rynnar of twa ynsches thik
1596 Dalr. I 208/25.
He commandet the wal of Abircorne to be erected agane of viii els thik, xii els hiche
1646 J. Hope Diary (1958) 178.
The vaine [was] … thicke from ligger to hinger neere foure fathomes
1699 Glasgow B. Rec. IV 281.
He … pretends intrest to a thinn coall, halfe ane elne thick, betwixt the tuo seims of the craig in the tounes quarrie

c. Of water: Deep. c1680 W. Row Blair 138.
Riding the water of Belfast, it being thicker than he apprehended, … his wife was carried off the horse and down the river

d. Of a person: ? Thickset; ? stout. 1686 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XII 405.
About threttie armed men quho wes comanded by a litle thick man

2. Dense, composed of numerous component parts or individuals crowded together in close proximity. 1375 Barb. xvi 194 (C).
Quhar he saw the thykkest pres, So hardely on thame he raid
a1400 Leg. S. xvii 16.
Sa thik & sownd was the wod Be-twene Arle and Avynone
1456 Hay II 5/32.
He was walkand a day in ane herbare allane … in a thik busk of the wod
c1475 Wall. v 170.
As Wallace thus in the thik forrest socht
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 199.
Thik was the schote of grundyn dartis kene
1513 Doug. i vii 41.
He entrys syne amyd the thikast [Sm. thickast, Ruddim. thikest] rowt
1596 Dalr. II 71/25.
With how thik a court he raid, how kinglie he proceidet
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 444.
The devil's court is thick and many; he hath the greatest number of mankind for his vassals
1651 Rothiemay Kirk S. in J. Gordon Hist. I App. lvii.
Ane English troope … called upon the people to macke the quarter through the parochin. And … we never wanted a constant thicke quarter
1683 Laing MSS 431.
There ar as many troops now in garison in Nidsdell as ever I had for Anandelle, Nidsdell, the Steuarty … and Wigton. I can not denay but ther is som raison to have garisons thik ther

3. Of individuals or things, collectively: Closely packed together; in large numbers with little space in between.(a) ?1438 Alex. i 1051.
The renkis begouth sa thik that He feld full fair in sadill sat
a1500 Henr. Orph. 289.
Our a mure wyth thornis thik and scharp
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 169/82.
Me thocht the devillis als blak as pik Solistand wer as beis thik
1513 Doug. ix viii 121.
At thai mycht ken the Weirmen not sa thyk in syk a place
1562-3 Winȝet I 87/12.
Quhen he passit throw the middis of the thik peple
1581 Bk. Univ. Kirk II 519.
Quhair the parochins ar thick togidder
(b) 1460 Hay Alex. 15749.
Sa tyk the dede men lay into that place That na man mycht cum nere him quhare he was

4. Of a liquid, clay: Dense in consistency; viscous. 1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 11.
Abundance of thik corruptible humoris or blude
1500-1699 Herbarius Latinus Annot. (Bot.).
In the begynnyn of the seik[nes] at the vring is reid & thik sall the seiknes seikerlie be sorie
1623 Perth Kirk S. MS 14 May.
Scho cureit him, bot that it wes the rippillis quhilk he hed as scho knew be his watter thik and quhyte lyk syit sowanis
1629 Boyd Last B. (1629) 19.
Is it not commonlie seene, that after the father hath pynned him selfe with scraiping together this thick clay and pelfie dung in commeth a … deboched heire … singing … wee haue spent more than our fathers haue winne

5. Of clouds, mist, air: Dense. 1513 Doug. vi ix 127 (Ruddim.).
Bot the hye fader almychty from his sete Throw thik cluddys at hym hys darte dyd thraw
1533 Boece 142b.
Ane catar generit of the cras and thik mysty air
1549 Compl. 58/26.
The rane … is ane exalatione of humid vapours, generit in calme veddir abufe the vattirs on the eird, and syne ascendis in the sycond regione of the ayr, quhar that it coagulatis in ane thik clud
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 107.
Becaus the mist was so done thicke, some lap the walis and escapit
1596 Dalr. I 5/13.
The are nochtwithstanding [is] sumthing thiker, and mae cloudes
1581-1623 James VI Poems II 30/28.
These thiccest clouddis uaire chacit syne haill & fyre did forduart lance

b. Of darkness: Impenetrable. a1400 Leg. S. v 262.
Thike myrknes lestand ay

6. Of a person: Dull (of hearing). 1657 Balfour Ann. II 188.
This he pronounced so loude as that the cardinall (quho was something thicke of heiring) could wnderstand him

7. Frequent, occurring in rapid succession. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1365.
Contrariouslie the busteous wind did blaw In bubbis thik

B. absol. (as noun). 1. a. The more densely occupied section, the midst (of a crowd of individuals). b. The greater part, the majority.a. 1375 Barb. viii 81.
Throw the thikkest off thaim he raid
?1438 Alex. i 1059.
Areste stoutly prickkit then In middes the thikkest of the thrang
c1420 Wynt. ix 3243.
Out throu the thikkest of that oste
c1475 Wall. viii 842.
For thi he preyst in the thikkest to be
c1590 Fowler I 28/42.
Within the thikkest of that troup
1598 Melvill Propine 138.
When I sall sharp my glansing sword, and draw it out to strik: And put my hand to execute my wrath amang the thik
1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 199.
Oh, if I could yoke in amongst the thick of angels, and seraphims
b. ?1660–90 J. Walwood in P. Gillespie Rulers Sins (1718) 12.
He will have the thick of all sorts of folk, especially ministers swept away, ere that deliverance come

c. The most intense juncture, the height (of an action). a1578 Pitsc. I 75/31.
Money was slaine at the thik of the battell

2. The thick part (of a limb). 1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 172.
The Deuill … gaive thé his taikin in thy left hand withe ane vehement nip in the thik of [thy] hand at the schakill bean

3. The densest, least clear part of a liquid. 1637 Rutherford Lett. (1894) 496.
God is wringing grapes of red wine for Scotland; and that this land shall drink and spue and fall. His enemies shall drink the thick of it and the grounds of it

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"Thik adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2023 <>



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