Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CAMMOCK, CAMMACK, CUMMOCK, Camack, Cammick, Kammi(c)k, Camaig, Cammag, n. [′kɑmək, ′kʌmək Sc., but Abd. + kɑmeg; kɑməg Cai.]

1. “A crooked stick” (Sc. 1808 Jam.); “a short staff with a crooked head” (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 68, cammag); “any kind of walking stick” (Ayr.4 1928). Known to our Abd. correspondents (1938). Also attrib. Sc. 1862 A. Hislop Proverbs (1870) 84:
Early crooks the tree, that good cammock should be.
Abd. after 1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shepherd MS. 131:
A cammock staff, cut after nature's cast He leaned upon.
Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales (1908) xviii.:
He . . . proceeded to trace a cross on the path with the point of his camaig.
Ayr. publ. 1834 Burns To Major Logan (Cent. ed.) iii.:
Until you on a cummock driddle, A grey-hair'd carl.

2. “The game otherwise called Shinty” (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.2, camack; Per. Ib., cammock). Inv. 1842 C. Bond Reminisc. Clachnacuddin Nonagenarian (1886) 5:
On Sabbath forenoon, instead of . . . going to the kirk, a numerous party assembled on the spot known as the bleaching green, and played a game of Cammack.

3. “A kenk in a line, a quirk or spalter in the edge of a board” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kammick).

4. “A preventive, a stop” (Sh. 1825 Jam.2; 1866 Edm. Gl., cammick); an obstruction or interruption to a project. A fig. use of 3. Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
I kent at de wid come a kammik itil it.

[O.Sc. cam(m)ok, cammock, a curved or crooked staff or stick (D.O.S.T.), E.M.E. camok(e), cam(m)ock, Mid.Eng. cambok(e), late Lat. cambuca. N.E.D. says “app. of Gaulish origin, derived from cambo-, crooked.” Cf. Welsh cam, crooked, camog, felly of a wheel (Spurrell); Irish caman, a bend, a stick with a crooked head, a hurley for ball-playing, camog, anything curved; a stick with a crook, a small hurley-stick (Dinneen); Gael. camag, a crook, caman, a shinty, a club for golf or cricket (MacLennan).]

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"Cammock n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2021 <>



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