Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HICKERY PICKERY, n. Also hykerie pykerie. A purgative composed of a mixture of bitter aloes and cannella, honey and cinnamon being occasionally added. Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality viii.:
I ne'er gat ony gude by his doctrine, as ye ca't, but a gude fit o' the batts wi' sitting amang the wat moss-hags for four hours at a yoking, and the leddy cured me wi' some hickery-pickery.
Arg. a.1850 in Colville (1909) 115:
Bring hickery-pickery — bring wallink, Droshachs, to sooth my pain!
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 280:
Some prime recates which he brocht from the Refectory, . . . how to use hykerie pykerie and rue.

[Corrupt variants of Lat. hiera picra, id., Gk. ερ πικρ, bitter remedy.]

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"Hickery pickery n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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