Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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ELBUCK, n. The elbow (Sc. 1808 Jam., Per., Ayr. Wilson; Rxb. c.1920 Mr Clelland W.-L.; Fif.10 1943). Also -ock (Jam.); -ic (Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. (1922) 106); -ig (Sh. 1913 J. M. Hutcheson W.-L.); -ug (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); -i(c)k (Sh.10, Bnff.2, Abd.9 1943). Also used fig. [′ɛlbʌk, ′ɛlbɔk Sc.; ′ɛlbɪk, ′ɛlbʌg Sh., Bnff., Abd. + ′ɛlbək] Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems II. 232:
Hab fidg'd and leugh, his Elbuck clew.
Ayr. 1789 Burns 2nd Ep. to Davie ii.:
Hale be your heart, hale be your fiddle! Lang may your elbuck jink an' diddle.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xlv.:
Takin' a swype clean doon fae that bit elbuck at the back o' your infeedle, to the burn side, an' cuttin' aff twa awcre odds o' the lang point.
Kcb. 1894 S. R. Crockett Lilac Sunbonnet viii.:
The minister's pony . . . struck straight out behind and took Saunders what he himself called a “dinnle on the elbuck.”
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 193:
Oor dowie auld gudeman sat croichlin' in the neuk, His chin upon his waukit luives, his elbucks on the Book.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 70:
An' sma's mak' an odds till a dwebble man Wha's elbick is nearly deen.
Sh. 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 62:
Hit's mam's elbik 'at shü wraestit, an' no her shooder. Proverbial Saying: to break an elbuck at the kirk door, of a woman: to become lazy after marriage.
Sc. 1737 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 61:
She brake her elbuck at the kirk door.

[O.Sc. has elbok, from 1513, later form of elbo, O.E. elboȝa, id. For the irregular development of k, cf. Warlock, Windock.]

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"Elbuck n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2021 <>



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