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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GROWK, v., n. Also grook, grouk, groak, groke, groach. [grʌuk, gro:k]

I. v. 1. To look at someone with a watchful or suspicious eye; to look longingly at something, esp. of a child or dog begging for food (Ags.4 1920; n.Ant. 1924 North. Whig (14 Jan.); Kcd., Ags., Per. 1955). †By extension: to come thoroughly awake after a sleep, sc. by focussing the eyes on surrounding objects (Dmf. 1825 Jam.).Ags. 1808 Jam.:
Grouk is often used, as denoting the watchfulness of a very niggardly person, who is still afraid that any of his property be given away or carried off.
Gall. a.1813 A. Murray Hist. Eur. Langs. (1823) I. 393:
To groke, in Scotish, is to stretch for meat like a dog.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xviii.:
Nathan was stanin' at the table as uswal, growk-growkin' awa' for a bit o' my tea biskit. “I dinna like growkin' bairns,” I says to Nathan.
Per. 1900 E.D.D.:
There's the gamekeeper groakin' aboot.

2. To look intently or wistfully so as to attract attention.Rs. 1944 C. M. Maclean Farewell to Tharrus 79:
She grooked a little, and tried to lick my chin. “Where's Laddie?” I whispered to her. She whined and ran off.

II. n. 1. “A child who waits about at meal-times in the expectation of getting something to eat” (Ant. 1892 Ballymena Obs. (E.D.D.)).

2. “A mute, wistful look by a child on any article greatly desired” (Ags.4 1920).

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"Growk v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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