Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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BLINK, v. [blɪŋk, blŋk, blɛŋk]

1. To glance kindly, to ogle, look fondly at. Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 47; Ags.2 1935:
Sae when she comes the morn, blink in her eye.
m.Sc. 1838 A. Rodger Poems, etc. 71:
An' oh! that pawkie, rowin' e'e, Sae roguishly it blinks on me.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 177:
Up came a merry gentleman An' he blinked the lassie by.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 60:
Macguldroch blink't wi sapient ee.

ppl.adj. Sc. 1724 Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1762) 83:
Blinkin daft Barbara M'leg.
Abd. 1873 P. Buchan Guidman o' Inglismill 31:
Deil tak' her blinkin' een an' soople snout, For wilin' men to drink waur than a brute.

2. To deceive, to cheat. Sc. 1842 D. Vedder Poems (1878) 178:
But, man! ye've overshot the mark — Ye're fairly blinket!
Abd. 1933 J. H. Smythe Blethers o' Barrowsgate 16:
Noo, a dizzen years back, a crony o' Dauvit Blinkit his scaud o' a wife.
Fif. 1825 Jam.2:
To blink a lass, to play the male jilt with her.

3. To glance at with the evil eye.

(1) To bewitch. Often as pa.p. or ppl.adj.

(a) Of human beings. Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
To be blinkit, to be bewitched.
Mry.(D) 1806 J. Cock Simple Strains 121:
Meg's heart lap ha'flins till her mou' “This is a luckless night, I trow, “I fear we'll baith be blinkit, now,” She whisper'd me.
Uls. 1896 M. Hamilton Across an Ulster Bog vii.; Uls.2 1929:
Heth! he's just dwining away. You'd think he'd been blinked.

(b) Of things, esp. liquids. Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 75:
Blinked milk. . . . Gude wives have it [milk] fired, but the origin of blinked is, that it is witched; blink'd at by a foul e'e.
Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.:
Cow's milk is said to be blinked when it does not produce butter, in consequence of some supposed charm having been worked.

(2) To turn sour. Gen. as pa.p. or ppl.adj. Known also in Eng. dial. Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff.2 1935:
Blinkit milk is that which is a little turned in consequence of the heat of the weather. Beer is said to be blinkit, when somewhat soured by being improperly exposed to heat, or affected by lightning.
Per. 1816 J. Duff Poems 82:
Her lapert milk, an' blinket whey, Wer' a' securely lockit by.
s.Arg. 1917 A. W. Blue Quay Head Tryst 226:
“Away wi' that hat, Junnat,” says he, wi' a face that wad blink the milk.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 65; Ayr.8 1935:
Be it [milk] blinkit — be it broke — It's aye welcome to Jock.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 75; Kcb.1, Kcb.9 1935:
Blinked milk. Milk distasted. It gets so in warm sultry weather, the heat, as it were, ferments it.

4. To give a spark (to or of); to light. Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); 1914 Angus Gl.; Sh.7 1935:
To b[link] de koli, to light the open trainoil lamp for a moment.
Fif. 1894 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin, Swatches o' Hodden-Grey iv.:
That's a freen' that fails me never as lang as the flint'll blink fire.

5. To be drunk, or under the influence of drink. Ags. 1819 A. Balfour Campbell I. xviii.:
Whan he's blinket, he wad fight wi' the wind.
Fif. 1808 Jam.; Ayr.8 1935, obsol.:
To be blinkit, to be half drunk.

6. To miscarry. Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); Sh.7 1935, obs.:
Hit [“it”] blinked for me.

7. A tabu-expression. (See quot.) Ib.:
“Shø [‘she'] blinks,” a fish shows itself.

[O.Sc. blenk, v., to give a glance or sudden look, to gleam, to glitter. In these senses blenk occurs as early as Barbour 1375. In the early 16th cent. it appears as blink. In n.Mid.Eng. the same change in form also occurs. In O.E. blencan means deceive. Cf. Mid.Du., Mod.Du., Ger. blinken, to gleam, blink.]

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"Blink v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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