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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

KEBBOCK, n. Also kebbuc(k), kebuck(e), kebback, kebec, kibbock, keeback (Cai.), cabback (Jam.), cabbach; cabag, ke(i)bag (Cai. 1959). A home-made cheese (s.Sc. 1793 T. Scott Poems 327; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; n.Sc., Ags., Fif., Rnf., Lnk. 1959), sometimes of a special kind: “a cheese . . . made with ewe-milk mixed with cow's milk” (Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality viii.); “cheese made of skimmed milk” (Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 222). Also phr. a kebbock o(f) cheese. Also fig. The moon. [Sc. ′kɛbək. ′kebək, ′kɪbɪk; Cai. ′keɪb əg].Abd. 1754 R. Forbes Jnl. from London 23:
An honester fellow never . . . cuttit a fang frae a kebbuck.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 87:
She seenil lays her hand upon a turn, Neglects the kebbuck, and forgets the kirn.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Cotter's Sat. Night xi.:
The Dame brings forth in complimental mood, To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, fell.
Slk. 1823 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. (1874) i.:
After . . . tasting old Janet's best kebbuck, and oatmeal cakes.
Sc. 1832 A. Henderson Proverbs 105:
A whang aff a new cut kebbuck is ne'er missed.
ne.Sc. 1874 W. Gregor Olden Time 16:
Between some of the couples were hung strong boards, on which were ranged kebbacks of various sizes and ages.
Ags. 1888 Barrie Auld Licht Idylls vi.:
The Daft Days, the black week of glum debauch that ushered in the year, a period when the whole countryside rumbled to the farmer's “kebec” laden cart.
Knr. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 133:
An' links o' puddin's, black to see, An' yowe-milk kebbuck, sweet to pree.
em.Sc. 1935 Scotsman (31 May) 15:
Also, in those parts one is readily understood when one makes a request for a “kebbuck” of cheese or a “farl” of oatcake.
Sc. 1983 John McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 37 45:
A cowp, nae mair nor
a tae-breeth frae Hell;
like a kebbuck wi mawks,
shackelt tae its smell.
Gsw. 1994 Alasdair Gray A History Maker 126:
They brought him powsoudie, drummock, kebbuck and farle. He ate it and dressed.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall in Neil R. MacCallum Lallans 51 15:
Efter a lang, lang time, somebody pit out the lichts in the lift an aathing gaed blaik, except for the kebbuck o cheese an a green an blue foushty baa hingin in space, like a rotten tangy.

Combs.: (1) kebbock-creel, a basket for holding cheeses; (2) cabbach day, see quot.; (3) kebbock-heel, the last remaining hard end-piece of a cheese (Gall. 1902 E.D.D.; ne.Sc., Fif., Edb. 1959). See Heel; †(4) Kebbock-shire, Ayrshire, from the former importance of the cheese industry there, as at Dunlop, etc. (Rxb.3 1931).(1) Ork. c.1836 Old-Lore Misc. (1908) I. vii. 265:
Gudewyfe gae to your kebbock creel, See that you wyle your kebbocks weel.
(2) Inv. c.1750 Young Chevalier 59:
The Town's People of Inverness had now as terrible a Prospect as their Ancestors had, even on Cabbach-Day itself (Note-A Day ever memorable in that Town for the Fight between the Camerons and M'Phersons, on Account of so small a Trifle as one Third of a Scots Penny . . . the Price of a Cheese, which he thinking too dear by 1-3d of a Penny.
(3) Ayr. 1786 Burns Holy Fair xxv.:
An' dinna for a kebbuck-heel, Let lasses be affronted On sic a day!
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 85:
An' Meggy's mitie kebbock-heel, I'd cheerfu' whang.
Dmb. 1868 J. Salmon Gowodean 108:
For in good sooth I wouldna' like to lay The Kebbuc-heel upon the board the day.

[O.Sc. cabok, kebbok, etc., id., from c.1470. Orig. uncertain. Gael. has càbag, id., c.1768, which in that form may be a borrowing from Sc. Mod.Gael. dial. however, has the form ceapag, a round lump, as of cheese, orig. a solid barrow wheel, a dim. of Gael., Ir. ceap, a block, last, nave of a wheel. But there is no evidence earlier than the 20th c. for this extension of meaning.]

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"Kebbock n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Oct 2022 <>



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