Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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JOKE, n., v. Also jock (Ayr. 1703 Session Bk. Dundonald (1936) 541). [The pronuncia. tion dʒɔk is still heard, though obsol.]

I. n. As in Eng., a jest. 1. Comb.: joke-fellow, one who is intimate enough to share a joke with, a familiar friend. Hence joke-fellow-like, adj., adv., intimate, familiar, in a comradely fashion; 2. adj. jokie, -(e)y, jockie, jocular, fond of a joke. Gen.Sc. Rare in Eng. 1. Sc. 1747  Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) I. 305:
The Prince putting the bottle to his head, drank in common with those on board Jock-fellow-like.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Sir A. Wylie xciv.:
That English lord and his leddy mak' him joke-fellow wi' themselves.
Ayr. 1838  Galt in Tait's Mag. (Jan.) 41:
It was not to be thought that a 'stated gentleman would make himself joke-fellow like wi' me that had but a lairdship ahint the counter.
2. Sc. 1825  Jam.:
He's a fine jokie man.
Mry. c.1850  Lintie o' Moray (Rampini 1887) 31:
Tho' his body was wither'd his heart was aye green For a jockie bit bodie was he.
Gsw. 1902  J. J. Bell Wee Macgreegor ii.:
Deed, I wis thinkin' it wis mair nor naethin' that wis makin' ye sae jokey-like.
Lnk. 1952  G. Blake Voyage Home 21:
Their curly-haired father was a jokey sort of man with whom you could go to considerable lengths.

II. v. To make a joke against, to chaff, to make a sport or fool of (a person) (Sh., Ags. 1959). Sc. 1748  Smollett Rod. Random lvii.:
Miss Snapper . . . pretended to joke me upon my passion for Narcissa.
Abd. 1768  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 98:
Ye hae yoursell wi' yon snell maiden locked, Wha winna thole wi' affsetts to be jocked.
Ags. 1894  F. Mackenzie Cruisie Sk. xii.:
When he cam' hame he buit cry in an' joke me aboot bein' sae sune up.

[Joke is orig. a slang word of 17th c. Eng. The above meanings are found either exclusively or earlier in Sc.]

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"Joke n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 May 2019 <>



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