Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NIBLICK, n. Also -lock, neeblack. A golf-club with a small, round, heavy head, and a strong shaft, designed for getting the ball out of an awkward or constricted position (Sc. 1887 W. G. Simpson Art of Golf 138), corresponding to the No. 5 iron. Also attrib.; a stick with a hooked head (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Fif. 1857 H. B. Farnie Golfer's Manual 19:
Before quitting the subject of spoons, we shall notice an antiquated connection of the family, now seldom to be met with. . . . It is called a niblick; has a tough yet effective driving shaft; and an exceedingly small head well-spooned back. Its use is, or rather was, to drive a ball out of a rut or cap [sic] large enough to admit the diminished head — and very effective strokes we have seen made with it.
Sc. 1886 R. Forgan and Son Price-List:
Brassy Niblicks, Iron Niblicks with Hickory Shafts, 5s. 6d. each.
Sc. 1891 J. G. M'Pherson Golf & Golfers 19:
The iron is indispensable for short approaches, lofting bunkers, and stymies; but the shaft should not be strained by bunker-work, as a niblick iron is there more suitable.
Abd. 1931 D. Campbell Uncle Andie 7:
A've seen him play wi' a neeblack an' a gutty-ba' at the Base.
Sc. 1955 R. Browning Hist. Golf 145:
Even the niblicks were originally wooden clubs: the first iron-headed niblicks were excessively short in the blade — again with the idea of being able to use them in cart-ruts and similar awkward lies.

[A dim. deriv. of Nib, from the hooked appearance of the club. Cf. Nibbie, and comb. nibby-iron s.v.]

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"Niblick n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Nov 2021 <>



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