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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LOCK, v., n.1 Also lok(k) (Sh.). Sc. usages of Eng. lock, of a door, etc. cf. Also Luck, v.3, Lucken, adj.

I. v. 1. As in Eng., to fasten with a key. to make fixed or rigid; to shut (without locking) a door (Sh. 1961). Vbl.n. locking, a split pin (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 42). Hence locker, the metal lever which fixes and releases the body of a tilt-cart from the shafts; locker bar, lockin tree, the cross-bar of wood between the shafts at the front of a tilt-cart to which the cart body is fixed (Wgt. 1961); also a bar of wood by which a door divided in the middle can be closed and made firm on the inside (Fif. c.1850 R. Peattie MS.); lockit book, a book with clasps which can be locked, specif. the book containing the names of honorary burgesses or one of the books of the Incorporated Trades of Dundee. “Each of the Crafts possessed a Locked Book, in which to insert the entry of new masters, and of apprentices. These books appear to have been all procured about the middle of the sixteenth century” (A. J. Warden Burgh Laws Dundee (1872) 330).Abd. 1813 D. Anderson Poems 79:
The lockin' tree syne he did fling, And owre the barn did throw't.
Ags. 1759 A. J. Warden Burgh Laws Dundee (1872) 277:
The Court appointed him to return his keys of the Locked Book as late Deacon to the present Deacon.
Ags. 1887 A. H. Millar Burgesses Dundee 2:
The manuscript volume in which these names [of burgesses since 1513] are entered merits some description. It consists of 1,020 pages of unruled antique paper, bound in leather-covered wooden boards, and closed with two engraved brass clasps fitted with locks and keys, hence called the “Lockit Book”.
Ags. 1934 Times (20 Oct.) 9:
General Smuts wrote his name in the Lockit Book of Dundee, containing the names of his many and distinguished predecessors as honorary freemen.

2. Of weather, snow, mist, etc.: to make a place impassable or impenetrable (Ags. 1961).Sh. 1881 Williamson MSS.:
Lockid i da very doors. A lockit mist. Sc. 1931 Barrie Farewell Miss J. Logan 1: During the weeks ('tis said, it may be months) in which the glen is “locked”, meaning it may be so happit in snow that no one who is in can get out of it, and no one who is out can get in.

3. To take and clasp in the arms, to embrace (Sh., Ags. 1961).Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 589:
Hee wiz staandin wee hiz feet paald fornent a brugg, a lokkin da rùll aboot da kraig.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (May):
Shü lokid Willie aboot da neck.
Sc. 1927 J. Millar Scotland Yet 127:
Ruby wants a doll tae “lock”.

4. To seize hold of, to grab, clutch (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 138, 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1961).Sh. 1898 Shetland News (18 June):
Shü lockid da büit an' gae him a twig or twa.

5. Of horned animals: to become entangled by the horns when butting one another (I.Sc. 1961). Cf. Eng. to lock horns.Sh. 1898 Shetland News (8 Jan.):
Der Flekka an' wir Sholma haes ill at eenanidder, an' hit's mair is doo daurs ta let dem lock.

6. Fig., used refl. with wi; to bind or engage oneself to (a person).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.

II. n. 1. In Mining: the horizontal roof timber in a set of prop-wood. Also in Eng. dial.Kcb. 1897 66th Report Brit. Assoc. 487:
Sometimes knocks were heard on the “lock” [as a premonition of an accident].

2. In dim. form pl. locksies, the crossing of the fingers as a call for a truce in a game (Bnff. 1961). Cf. Key, n., 2.

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"Lock v., n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Feb 2023 <>



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