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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

ILK, adj.2, pron. Also ilke.

I. adj. Each, every, of two or more. Now mainly liter. and replaced by Ilka.Ayr. 1709 Arch. & Hist. Coll. Ayr. & Wgt. IV. 240:
The persewer to prove that ilk yokeing of land gave 7 merk.
Gsw. 1717 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 628:
Ilk person who laid doun the said dung or gathered the said midden.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 34:
Intill her face ilk sweet an' bony draught Came till it sell.
Edb. 1772 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 83:
Whare I was keppit wi' the heavy tale That sets ilk dowie sangster to bewail.
Ayr. 1790 Burns Tam o' Shanter 220:
Ilk man, and mother's son, take heed.
Sc. 1817 Scott Bonnie Dundee iii. in Doom of Devorgoil (1834) ii. ii.:
As he rode down the sanctified bends of the Bow, Ilk carline was flyting and shaking her pow.
Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 51:
Ye've heard hoo the de'il, as he wauchel'd through Beith Wi' a wife in ilk oxter, an' ane in his teeth.
Ags. 1923 V. Jacob Songs of Ags. 42:
But time drives forrit; and on ilk December There waits a New Year yet.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 51:
Ilk morn I wauken, howpe athin ma breist
Euterpe's here tae veesit me the day
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 39:
Noo gloamin peints ilk image I can see
Wi sic profundity, sic glamourie,
As if a bourachie o fremmit fowk
War waukin slaw my wye,

Comb.: ilk-day's, everyday, customary, ordinary. Cf. Ilka, 2. (3).Sc. 1720 T. Boston Fourfold State 374:
He must take up his ilk Day's Cross.

II. pron. Each one, every one.Sc. 1756 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 17:
Ableins they'll tak it in their heads, Ilk to tak wives to warm their beds.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 6:
Straight down the steep they slide wi' canny care, Ilk at the ither's en', frae stump to stane.
Rxb. 1821 A. Scott Poems 25:
For by this time nae bands are made, Ilk down their handfu's lay.
Edb. 1869 J. Smith Poems 4:
The foremost three held ilk the croon O' story-tellin' craft.
Sc. a.1894 Stevenson New Poems (1918) 38:
When it's time to take the gate Tak' ilk his ain.
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 22:
We'll see, when ilk comes till his ain, fa wis the biggest feel.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 53:
Paiks maun be tholed by ilk alane.
ne.Sc. 1991 Lilianne Grant Rich in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 23:
Skirlin and lauchin, ilk wi spindrift weet,
At the waves' edge the bairns their taes try in

III. Combs.: 1. ilk an(e), -een (n.Sc.), each one, every one, of two or more, everybody, all and sundry (Edb. 1720 A. Pennecuik Helicon 67, ilkan; ne.Sc., Ags., Fif., Rxb. 1958). Also ilkin, and ¶ilken, used adj. = every (Slk. 1817 Hogg Poet. Mirror 196); 2. ilk ither, each other, one another (Ags., Rxb. 1958). Also ilkanither; 3. ilk-whair, everywhere.1. Kcd. 1701 Urie Court Bk. (S.H.S.) 112:
The said day amerciatis John Maule in Glithnoe, and Allexander Duncane ther, ilke ane of them in fyftie poundis Scotis.
Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 75:
Ilk ane their Gifts down flang.
Abd. 1819 in J. Burness Plays, etc . 301:
Ye're nae ilk ane, for depend, I seldom sae far condescend, As sha' my scrawls to ony body.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter xi.:
Yell on yell gied the Laird, ilk ane mair awfu' than the ither.
Bch. 1929 Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 129:
The vrichts, A suppose, wiz wullin' aneuch, but ilkeen o' them wiz feart for lossin' his custom.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 44:
ilkane nocht bit a fingerneb;
a field o sensation whaur 'God' comes
tae ken his Warl and himself -
gin we'd! only get oot o the wey.
m.Sc. 1986 Tony McManus in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 170:
Mair nor ain, grey wing woundit, een reid wi bluid, blind,
'll dee, these chiels o puirtith hae, ilkane, kin tae fend for ...
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 106:
'Ilk yin o yese. Ye hae grat for a broken Covenant and the saut is frozen on aw yer faces. But wha'll greet for me, eh? Wha'll greet for me?'
2. Ayr. c.1786 Burns Twa Herds ix.:
And names, like villain, hypocrite, Ilk ither gi'en.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality iv.:
If they come to lounder ilk ither, as they did the last time, suldna I cry on you?
Edb. 1851 A. Maclagan Sketches 56:
But the twa puir folk like statues stood, Mute, gazing on ilk ither.
Ags. 1920 A. Gray Songs 16:
They speak to ilk ither a language, Sae bonny and couthy and bien.
em.Sc.(a) 1991 Kate Armstrong in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 112:
as that we luik on ilkanither's hoose
an hunker, gin we find it, in oor ain
3. Ayr. 1789 D. Sillar Poems 95:
My praise is ilk-whair yelpit.

[O.Sc. ilk, each, every, from 1375, of two, from c.1420, ilk dayis, c.1470, North.Mid.Eng. ylk, North.O.E. ylc; O.E. (Wessex) œlc, the source of Eng. each.]

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"Ilk adj.2, pron.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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