Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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NICKUM, n. Also nickam, -em, -im, -om, niccum, knickum. An imp, scamp, rogue, mischievous boy (Abd., Fif. 1825 Jam.; ne. and em.Sc. (a), Ayr. 1964), now gen. used half-playfully. [′nɪkəm] Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 97:
By the cuff he's led alang, An' settl'd wi' some niccum, In quad yon night.
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes 128:
An' nane wad hae kent that the whisker'd dragoon Was the same tricky nickem — Jean Finlater's loun.
Bnff. 1867 Old Trees in Scot. 245:
“The young English nickom”, for this was the reputation he [Byron] enjoyed, even at that time.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb iii.:
“The loon,” who was of that particular character fitly described as “a roy't nickum.”
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 28:
'Twas the wee nickum, Love, played the mischief a'.
Gall. 1896 Crockett Cleg Kelly xvii.:
A gang of the most high-toned “nickums” in the whole city.
Kcd. 1933 L. G. Gibbon Cloud Howe 177:
He fair could slide, that nickum of a loon.

[From Nick, n.2, the devil, + dim. suff. -Um.]

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"Nickum n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Dec 2021 <>



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