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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

MAUKIN, n. Also mauken (Kcb. 1810 R. H. Cromek Remains 149), mauking; mawkin(g); makin(e) (Gall. 1898 A. J. Armstrong Levellers 52); macking; ma(u)lkin (Rxb. 1928 Trans. Hawick Arch. Soc. 37); myaukin (Abd. 1932 Banffshire Jnl. (8 May) 10), -en, mya(w)kin; macon. Also reduced dim. form mauky. Sc. meanings now obs. or dial. in Eng. [′mɑ:kɪn; ne.Sc. ′mjɑ:-]

1. The hare (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; ne. and em.Sc.(a), Kcb. 1962). Also in various fig. and proverbial expressions.Sc. 1706 in J. Watson Choice Coll. i. 69:
I grip't the Mackings be the Bunns, or be the Neck.
Sc. 1724 Ramsay T.-T. Misc. (1876) I. 58:
But what if dancing on the green, And skipping like a mawking.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 66:
For fear she curr'd, like makine i' the seat.
Sc. 1773 Boswell Tour (23 Aug.):
The Aberdonians had not started a single mawkin for us to pursue.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 236:
Maukens are most terrible, and have bad luck, none will go to sea that day they see a Mauken, or if a wretched body put in a Mauken's fit in their creels, they need not lift them that day.
Ayr. 1787 Burns T. Samson's Elegy vii.:
Ye maukins, cock your fud fu' braw . . . Your mortal fae is now awa.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality vii.:
It will be my lot to be shot down like a mawkin at some dykeside.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Steam-boat vii.:
It is . . . believed . . . that the witches are in the practice of gallanting over field and flood, in the shape of cats and mawkins.
Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
“The maukin was gaun up the hill”; i.e., matters were succeeding, business was prospering.
Ags. 1833 J. S. Sands Poet. Effusions 84:
A hare, a monster, sic anither. A macon, faith! the macon's mither.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Sc. Verses 77, 78:
It was my ain bit mauky mate. . . . Puir maukie! noo ye'll fear nae mair . . . Nor fudd like stoor amang the stibble.
Kcb. 1895 Crockett Moss-Hags xlvii.:
Once they raised, as it had been a poor maukin, a young lad that ran from them.
Bch. 1929 Abd. Univ. Rev. (March) 131:
Naething bit a myawkin trappit in a snare.
Rxb. 1933 Kelso Chron. (3 Nov.) 5:
While maukins breenged amang his snares ayont the lirk.
Sc. 1979 Maurice Lindsay Collected Poems 39:
for ocht that gars you luik sae white an lik a maukin stare!
m.Sc. 1982 Olive Fraser in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 93:
The maukin o' Creagan Alnack
Has snaw for meat.
Lnk. 1991 Duncan Glen Selected Poems 8:
And waws to sclim to fields for shootin
foxes - ae fox - and maukins and rats.

Combs.: (1) mauken fute, hare's-foot trefoil, Trifolium arvense (Rnf. 1827 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 66); (2) maukin-hippit, with lean narrow hips; (3) maukin-mad, as mad as a hare, in a frenzy; (4) to let the maukin sit, to preserve a diplomatic silence, to let sleeping dogs lie.(2) Per. 1835 J. Monteath Dunblane Trad. 92:
Nane o' yer auld maukin-hippit withered bodies for me.
(3) Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 106:
The fuddlin' Bardies now-a-days Rin maukin-mad in Bacchus' praise.
w.Lth. 1890 A. M. Bisset Spring Blossoms 33:
Maist Englishmen wad jist as lief Gang maukin-mad as want their beef.
(4) Ayr. 1876 J. Ramsay Gleanings 53:
We'll say nae mair o' that the noo, Just let the maukin sit.

2. An awkward, long-legged half-grown girl; a young house-servant (w.Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Voc. 47, maulkin; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); in pl. = children (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 141).Rxb. 1825 Jam.:
“A lass and a maukin”, a maid-servant and a girl to assist her.
Abd.15 1928:
Ye muckle myawkin, faur wis ye gyaan spangin yonner for (spoken to a long-limbed girl of ten)?

3. A cowardly or feeble person, a weakling (Uls. 1905 Uls. Jnl. Archaeol. 125, 1924 W. Lutton Montiaghisms 29).Abd. 1933 Abd. Press & Jnl. (30 March):
The lad that's fed on beef brose is nae mawkin.

4. A cat. Also in Eng. dial. Cf. Grimalkin.Fif. 1866 St. Andrews Gaz. (23 June):
When Mr Brown . . . left Cairns Mill for his new residence, maukin was placed in a bag and conveyed along with the other chattels. On the following morning pussey was found . . . sitting at the door of her old residence.

5. The female pudendum (Sc. 18th c. Merry Muses (1911) 118). Cf. Bawd, id.

[Vocalised form of Malkin < *Maldekin, a familiar dim. form of Mid.Eng. Malde, Matilda, Maud. For meaning 2. which may be in direct descent from the proper name, cf. Mid.Eng. malekin, a woman of the lower classes, later, a servant-wench. As a prop.n. O.Sc. has Makyne, c.1470, in sense 5. malkin, c.1538.]

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"Maukin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Oct 2022 <>



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