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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

INKIE-PINKIE, n. Also ink(er)-pink(er), (h)inky-pinky; hinkie-pinkie, hinkey. Cf. Hink-skink.

1. Small beer; now remembered only in versions of the Halloween play Galatians (Slg. c.1900 per Per.3).Sc. 1835 J. Maidment Galatians 4:
Inky Pinky about seventy or eighty years since was used by the brewers in Stirlingshire to designate the smallest kind of beer.
Sc. 1847 R. Chambers Pop. Rhymes 303:
I have a little bottle of inker-pinker in my pocket.
Knr. 1884 C. Rogers Social Life I. 401:
The “browst” which the gudewife o' Lochrin produced from a peck o' maut is commemorated thus: “Twenty pints o' strong ale, Twenty pints o' sma', Twenty pints o' hinkie-pinkie, . . .”

2. Used in children's rhyme (Ags., m.Lth. 1958).Dmf. c.1800 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace 1899) 380:
Ink, pink, sma' drink, Het yill and brandy: Scud aboot the haystack: And you'll get sugar-candy.
Fif. 1890 per Fif.14:
Inkie-pinkie my black hen Laid an egg for gentlemen Whiles ane, whiles twa, And whiles a bonnie black craw.

3. A stew or hash made from cold roast beef, vegetables and seasoning.Sc. 1827 M. Dods Manual (1837) 240:
Inky Pinky. Slice boiled carrots; slice also cold roast beef, trimming away outside and skins. Put an onion to a good gravy . . . and let the carrots and beef slowly simmer in this; add vinegar, pepper and salt.

4. ? A kind of ginger-beer or other soft drink.Ags. 1950 People's Friend (29 July):
Hinkey-pinkie, jaw sticker toffee . . . lemon-kali boxes, all four a penny!

[Etym. doubtful but phs. orig. a childish or popular corruption of Gk., Lat. hiera picra, with development of meaning. See note to Hickery-pickery.]

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"Inkie-pinkie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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