Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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KINK, v.2, n.2 Also kenk; keenk. [kɪŋk, kɛŋk, kiŋk]

I. v. 1. To gasp or choke convulsively or spasmodically: (1) to take an attack of hard coughing, esp. whooping-cough (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 293;Dmf.3 c.1920; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; ne., em.Sc.(a), m.Lth., wm. and s.Sc. Uls. 1960). Ppl.adj. kinkin', convulsive, choking; vbl.n. kinking. Abd. 1794 Sc. N. & Q. (Ser. 2) VI. 183:
Wizards, warlocks, elfin, fairies, Played steek and hide like cats and haries, Wi' ridden hags they ca' night mairis, That grip folks' kinkin'.
Sc. 1843 in R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) IV. 200:
The act of hooping, in this distressing complaint, is still, among the vulgar, termed kinking.
Edb. 1876 J. Smith Archie and Bess 4:
She began to cough an' kink time aboot.
Fif. 1895 G. Setoun Sunshine and Haar 244:
My ain brither had just sic a dry kinkin' hoast as you ha'e.

(2) To laugh till one gasps for breath (Uls. 1901; m.Dmf.3 c.1920; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd., sm.Sc., Dmf., Rxb., Uls. 1960); to crow, of a child. Ppl.adj. kinkin, convulsive (of laughter). Rxb. 1824 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. (1922) 36:
He kinket and leugh as I cannot describe.
Rxb. c.1875 Jethart Worthies 28:
Kinking, keckling, elastic laughter.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick v.:
He made believe to kink wi' lauchin, an' gied a guffaw that ye micht ha' heard twa fields aff.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo vi.:
He even kinket when we were passin' the auld kirkyaird.
Mry. 1929 J. Ross Earnside 24:
Nae sleepin' yet — but lauchin' an' kinkin', Fat can I dee wi' a loonie like you?

2. tr. To emit convulsively in vomiting. Kcd. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 18:
Through jaws an' billows roarin' . . . [He] couldna stan' for kinkin Rainbows, that day.

3.Combs.: (1) kinkco(u)gh, king-, whooping cough (Uls. 1901 Northern Whig; w.Dmf.3 1920; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Ayr., Dmf., Slk. 1960); (2) kink-ho(a)st, (a) = (1) (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 293; Sh., ne. and em.Sc., ‡Ayr., Gall. 1960). Also kinkost, kingcost, -kost, ke(e)nk-host, and abbrev. form kinkers (Abd., Per., Fif. 1960). See Hoast. Comb. kinkersteen, see 1915 quot.; (b) “an utter disgust” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 95); (c) “a severe loss” (Ib.). (1) Bwk. 1701 S.H.S. Misc. I. 404:
All this moneth of August my children George and marion were ill of the Kinkcogh.
Sc. 1849 M. Oliphant M. Maitland iii.:
The King-cough's in the toun.
(2) (a) Sc. 1705 Edb. Courant (19 Feb.):
The Famous Lozengees for curing the Cold, stopping and pains in the Breast, the Kinkhost.
Gsw. 1711 Uls. Jnl. Archæol. IV. 116:
A Syrop for the Kinghost or cold.
Ayr. 1836 Galt Rich Man (1925) iii.:
The laddie who kirned James Junor's, the druggist, medicaments, took the kingcost.
Ags. 1872 Kirriemuir Observer (5 Jan.) 4:
Disna ken futher it is the kinkhost or no, but they've an ill bark an' an ugly drawback wi'd.
Fif. 1889 A. Stewart Dunfermline 48:
The holding of a child over the mouth of a coal-pit was resorted to as a change of air for relieving “kingkost”.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 147:
In the woods of Logie there is a stone with a natural hollow in it. Many years ago it was called the “Kinker steen Wall”; and children who had whooping-cough were sent by their parents to take a drink from this well, at the same time putting a pin or two into the well, as a toll to the witches.
Ags. 1948 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 351:
I can still see the wifies from the neighbouring tenements holding their children over the bubbling tar with urgent injunctions to breathe deep and long, for this prescription was believed to be a sure cure for the “kink hoast.”

II. n. 1. A convulsive catching of the breath as in whooping-cough (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Abd., m. and s.Sc., Uls. 1960); a fit of coughing, a spasm, whooping-cough (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Sometimes also in pl. Sc. 1731 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) IV. 200:
Lilly and Martha and litle Jamie are brought near to death with the chin-cough . . . at every kink the child may be carryed off.
Kcb. 1814 W. Nicholson Poems 3:
For death . . . Stauk'd furth wi' a' his darts an' scythes, In shape o' measles, kinks, an' hives.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1898) xiii.:
At this very nick of time Benjie was seized with a severe kink; so Tammie stopped his cart, and I held his head owre the side of it till the cough went by.
Dmb. 1879 J. Napier Folk-Lore 96:
A very common practice at the present day is to take the patient into . . . a byre or a stable, a gas work, or chemical work. I have seen the gas blown on the child's face, so that it might breath some of it, and be set a coughing. If during the process the child take a kink, it is a good sign.
Ayr. 1920 D. Cuthbertson Poems of West 75:
He kickit like a year-auld colt, An' screeched as loud as bagpipes' blast. His face grew red, he took a “kink.”
Uls. 1924 Northern Whig (23 Jan.):
The good mother will hap them carefully in bed, especially if she hears among them a kink of whooping-cough.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 13:
That puir bairn's gey nerr chowkeet every teime ei taiks yin o thae sair kinks.

2. A violent and irrepressible fit of laughter (Rxb. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Uls. 1953 Traynor, Abd., Ags., m.Lth., wm.Sc., s.Sc. 1960). Sc. 1699 J. Clark Memento Mori 10:
Philistin the Poet died in a great Kink and fit of laughter.
Sc. 1710 R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) I. 266:
At which the factour takes a kink of laughing.
Rxb. 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 13:
A laach'd ma-sul inti sic a kink A cood harly geet ma braith again.

3. A fainting fit, a swoon (Slk. 1825 Jam.). Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man I. 311:
He rolled over and fainted . . . My masters, it is nae for naething that the honest man's gane away in a kink.

4. Phrs.: .†(1) not a kink, not a whit; †(2) to gae in ae kink, to go suddenly and completely, all at once (Slk. 1825 Jam.). (1) Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 215:
We value their frowns not a kink.
(2) Slk. 1822 Hogg Perils of Man III. 203:
Stand for life, limb, gear, and maidhood, or a's gane in ae kink.

[O.Sc. kinke, a spasm of coughing, 1653; Mid. Du. kincken, to cough, to breathe with difficulty; O.Sc. kinkhoste, a.1585; Mid.Du., L.Ger. kin(c)k-hoest, a dry cough. Cf. Eng. dial. chink, to lose one's breath in coughing or laughing, a fit of coughing or laughing, O.E. cincung, loud laughter.]

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"Kink v.2, n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Dec 2021 <>



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