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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CHACK, Chak, v.2, n.2 [tʃɑk]

1. v.

(1) To bite, to snap; “to snatch at (thrown food, etc.) with the teeth” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Known to Lnk.3, Kcb.10 1939.Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) x.:
Ay, how I was gruing! I mostly chacked off my tongue in chittering.
s.Sc. 1824 J. Telfer Border Ballads 68:
They [hounds] guddled and chackit about his flanks.
Slk. 1801 Hogg Sc. Pastorals 23:
For chasin' cats, an' craws, an' hoodies An' chackin mice, an' howkin moudies, . . . His match was never made.

(2) To make a clicking noise (Abd.9 1939); of the teeth: to chatter; to call (a dog) by making a clicking noise with the tongue and teeth.Abd. 1787 A. Shirrefs Jamie and Bess 61:
Excuse, for she, a wee, maun slack, Just, as ye heard the reely chack; By some wrong cadge she ga'e her hand, She's tint her end, and wark maun stand.
Clc. 1885 Poets Clc. (Beveridge) 103: 
Then wi' wee, wee kitten prattlin', Chackin' doggie tae the door.
Ayr. 1912 G. Cunningham Verse, maistly in the Doric 196:
When chitterin' wi' caul' and maist chakit to death, Hoo we danced on the flair, hoo we sabbit and grat, Till oor hauns they were rubbit and row'd in her brat.
Ant. 1892 Ballymena Observer (E.D.D.):
Chackin' wi' coul.

(3) To hack; “to cut or bruise any part of the body by a sudden stroke; as when the sash of a window falls on the fingers” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Known to Fif.10, Edb.1 1939. Also fig. Ppl.adj. chackit, chapped, hacked; “nipped, squeezed” (Kcb.10 1939).Ags. 1886 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends (1887) ix.:
The ither man will likely let you see a finger that was chacked clean aff wi' a neep-cutter.
Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 165: 
A chackin' conscience never dealt Within my breast corrective blows.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 2:
Lord, lay yer dear hand intil mine, Sair chackit though mine be.

2. n.

(1) A bite.Ags.(D) 1922 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden xiv.:
I was juist sittin' at the fire . . . takin' a chack at a butterie.

(2) A cut, a hack, “a bruise by nipping, violent pressure, etc.” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); “a nip” (Kcb.10 1939). Known to Fif.10, Lnk.3 1939; a clicking noise, a snap, in phr. to play chack, to click. Also fig.Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sketches x.:
Peter had no “chack” on his conscience. He did everything that mortal man could do to save the sow-born fanatic from its untimely fate.
Peb. 1838 W. Welsh Poems 27: 
Ere 1 wan back the door play'd chack, Sae I was steekit out.
Kcb. 1893 S. R. Crockett Stickit Minister 86:
Only limping slightly from what he called “a bit chack” (nip) on the leg between two stones.
Kcb. 1901 Crockett Cinderella xiv.: 
"She said naething, sir," she answered, "but juist played chack wi' her jaw like a body doited!"

(3) “The slit in the edge of a cotton-reel for inserting the thread end” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; also Abd.9 1939).

 [O.Sc. chak, chack, to close with a snap; to make a clacking noise, from 1513 (D.O.S.T.). The word is evidently imitative in origin. It is also used in names of birds that make a metallic or chattering noise, e.g. Hill-chack, Flitterchack, Stane-chack.]

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"Chack v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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