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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HACKY DUCK, n.comb. Also hackey-, hackie-; hucky-; hockey- (Ags.7 1932). A children's game, see 1934 quot. (Per. 1910; Ags. 19 1956, hucky-). Cf. Bab at the Bowster, phr. 3.Ags. 1921 A. S. Neill Carroty Broon xxii.:
But of course a man could not play hucky-duck or smuggle-the-gig.
Ags. 1934 G. M. Martin Dundee Worthies 182:
Sides were chosen and the side that was “down” bent as in leap-frog or backie, but were all in a row at right angles to a wall. One of the boys stood erect with back against the wall and the first “backie” placed his head against the first named, who was called the “Pillow” or “Bolster.” The first leaper got as far up the line of backs as possible, the second and subsequent leapers following. If all the leapers were successful they cried “Hackey-Duck, Hackey-Duck, three times on and off again.” If this side failed to achieve this objective the other side had an innings.
Sc. 1951 Sunday Post (1 July):
Hackey-Duck — A game played five or six aside, against a wall or tree, in which the sides take it in turn to jump stride-legs on the lined-up backs of their opponents.
Dundee 1987 Norman Lynn Row Laddie Sixty Years On 60:
Ron thought of 'Hucky-duck' a team game, where a line of bent backs formed a pier stretching from the wall. The opposition's aim, to pile up by running leaps to those backs, in the hope it would collapse. The mounted then chanted 'Hucky-duck three times on and off again'. Should the pier's legs hold, the positions had to be reversed, with the riders as cuddies.
m.Sc. 1998 Ian Cameron The Jimmy Shand Story 13:
'... The folk fair enjoyed theirsel's - races, rounders, hackie-duck, dancing on the grass. ...'

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"Hacky Duck n. comb.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Mar 2024 <>



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