Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PLUNK, adv., n.1, v.1 Also plunck, pllunk (Gregor), plonk; ¶plank-; plung (Sh.). [plʌŋk]

I. adv. or int. With a dull, heavy sound, plump! (Sc. 1880 Jam.); in a sudden way, quickly, all at once (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 131). Gen.Sc. Per. 1894 I. Maclaren Brier Bush 188:
They [drunkards] slip aff sudden in the end, and then they juist gang plunk.
Edb. 1897 C. Campbell Deilie Jock xiv.:
The cornal put his left hand plunk doon on the stakes.
Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lad's Love v.:
If you got them [peas] plunk on the jaw wi' a strong chairge o' powder ahint them.
Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 111:
He gaid plunk ee burn.

II. n. 1. A heavy fall, plump, or plunge, the sound of this; the sound of a dull blow, “the sound made by a stone or heavy body falling into water” (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., n. and em.Sc.(a), Kcb. 1966). Hence a plunk o' rain, a heavy downpour of rain, a Plump (Uls. 1966); to play plunk, to go plump. Lth. 1813 G. Bruce Poems II. 166:
In his guid naig's fat rump it [dirk] stuck: Whilk nae being us'd to sic a plunk, Gae suddenly a fearfu' funk.
Ags. 1888 Brechin Advertiser (28 Aug.):
He played plunk in up to the knees.
Ayr. 1901 G. Douglas Green Shutters vii.:
Swipey . . . planted a gob of mud right in the middle of his brow. Beneath the wet plunk of the mud John started back.
Ags. 1962 D. Phillips Lichty Nichts 35:
Thir'll be a big plunk o' rehn.

2. The sound of a cork being drawn from a bottle, a pop (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., plung); “the sound emitted by the mouth when one smokes tobacco” (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.), a reverberating popping sound. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1822 Blackwood's Mag. (Sept.) 313:
The King's name, and the plunk of corks drawn to drink his health, resounded in every house.
Sc. 1834 L. Ritchie Wanderings 167:
We hear . . . the pistol-like report of beer, and the more soberly alluring plunk! of wine-corks.

3. A twanging sound, as of a taut string (Kcb. 1966). Sc. 1927 Scots Mag. (Dec.) 214:
There was somethin' like a fiddle-string played plunk in my inside.

4. A sharp forward jerk or thrust, a flick, specif. “the act of propelling a marble by the thumb and forefinger” (Cld. 1825 Jam.; ne., m. and s.Sc. 1966); the game of marbles so played (Id.). Dim. plunkie, id. (Ags. 1921 T.S.D.C.), a marble propelled in this way (Ayr. 1903 E.D.D., planky). Cf. III. 2. (1) (i). Ags. c.1850 A. Reid Kirriemuir (1909) 399:
“Plunk,” which is known in Edinburgh as “Poodlin” and “Guttery,” resembles “Capie-Dykie”; but instead of throwing the bool at those on the line, it must be bowled like an underhand ball at cricket.
Hdg. 1886 J. P. Reid Facts & Fancies 194:
Nae sneekin' forrit, an' nae plunks.
Ags. 1942 Scots Mag. (July) 257:
It was the season of “bools”, and the various groups were engaged in the many forms of that diversion, some at “ringie”, some at “plunkie”, some at “chasie”.
I.Sc. 1946 M. M. Banks Cal. Customs 7:
Games played in spring were “Barley”, “Roopie”, “Pookie”, “Plunkie”.

5. A short, squat person or animal, a thick, dumpy object (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 130). Also in form pllunkart, id. (Ib.).

6. Dim. pl(l)unkie, -y, a kind of homemade sweetmeat made of treacle or syrup and flour (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 131; Abd. 1903 E.D.D.; ne.Sc. 1966), so called from being plunged into cold water to harden after boiling. ne.Sc. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes xxx.:
He crept into his rabbits' barrel to devour the pennyworth of plunky (a preparation of treacle and flour) which his brother would else have compelled him to share.
Abd. 1927 Banffshire Jnl. (11 Jan.):
Another Yule-tide custom that has, to a large extent, fallen into disuse is the making of “plunkie”, a toothsome sweetmeat produced by boiling syrup and sugar together.
Abd. 1958 People's Jnl. (21 June):
The young leddy crie't tae an' handit ma a muckle box o' plunky.

II. v. 1. intr. (1) To fall (gen. into water or the like) with a dull heavy sound, to plop (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1880 Jam., plung; Bnff. 1920). Gen.Sc. Vbl.n. plunkin, a sudden heavy fall, the sound made by this. Per. 1818 J. Sinclair Simple Lays 19:
Headlong he plunkit in the pool.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 131:
A hard the pllunkan o' the stanes, as they fell o' the botham o' the cave.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden xiii.:
Doon he plunkit, slap-bang on the tap o' his jooks' eggs.
Lnk. 1923 G. Rae Lowland Hills 65:
The plunkin' troot are jumpin' to the flee.
Ags. 1932 L. G. Gibbon Sunset Song 59:
Down it [bird] plonked on the mere of the loch.
m.Sc. 1947 Scots Mag. (May) 141:
A place whaur the fish are plonking a' roond aboot.

(2) to make a plopping or plunking noise, as of a cork being drawn (Kcb. 1966); to croak, of a raven; to make a gurgling noise in swallowing, also occas. tr. to swallow with a noisy gurgle (Ags. 1966). s.Sc. a.1825 Jam. s.v. Plunk:
The corpie plunkin' i' the bog Made a' my flesh turn cauld.

2. tr. (1) To drop (an object) into water, to plop, to put (something) down with a thump, to “dump”; “to drop or throw any body so as to produce a dull hollow sound” (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc.; to thrust into concealment, put into a hiding-place. Cf. Plank. Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 130:
He plunkit a big stane doon in o' the wall amo' the wattir.
Arg. c.1880 Anon. Stray Leaves 26:
They'll tell how much the lairds for us are doin', And aig us on until we're plunckt tae ruin.
Abd. 1895 G. Williams Scarbraes 35:
[He] plunket the whole body bulk into the ladle.
Lnk. 1910 C. Fraser Glengonnar 148:
Though I'm plunkit doon in no' a bad bit, it's no bonnie Scotland.
Sc. 1928 J. G. Horne Lan'wart Loon 9:
He plunkt his bag oot ower a dike.
Slg. 1932 W. D. Cocker Poems 23:
Ananias, faur frae blate, Plunked doon his offerin' in the plate.
Gall. 1947 A. McCormick Galloway 48:
Peerin' into the water, he plunkit the knife into the fish.
Per.4 1964:
He plunkit the rabbit in alow a whin buss.

Specif., in a game of marbles: (i) to propel a marble with a thrust or jerk instead of rolling it gently, to pitch, throw (Cld. 1825 Jam.). Gen. (exc. I.) Sc. Deriv. plunker, n., a heavy marble made of clay, glass or metal, designed to be played in this way (Arg. 1900 R. C. Maclagan Games Arg. 152). Gen. (exc. I.) Sc. Lnk. 1808 W. Watson Poems (1877) 125:
Plunkin' yer bools an' playin' preens.
s.Sc. 1836 Wilson's Tales of the Borders IV. 90:
He was on his knees, most earnestly engaged in plunkin.
Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 83:
A plunker frae auntie, frae cousin a snap.
Ags. 1895 J. Inglis Oor Ain Folk 94:
A “plunker” . . . was “a pigger” which had been partly vitrified in the fire, and generally had one side burned to a darker hue than the other. lt was reserved for leading off with in the game, and was seldom risked as a stake.
Arg. 1917 A. W. Blue Quay Head Tryst 190:
A'm terrible grieved tae observe a mortal boy in the gall of bitterness employed in plunkin bools.
Slg. 1929 W. D. Cocker Dandie 37:
The hailstanes like plunkers cam' stot.
Gsw. 1958 C. Hanley Dancing in the Streets 53:
The king bool was a plunker made of iron, but in an engineering city, somebody could always produce a giant steel ball of nearly two inches diameter . . . and such a one was worth dozens of jauries in a straight exchange.

(ii) to play a marble in such a way that it remains in the hole aimed at instead of striking out the other marbles. Cf. (1) above. Per. 1903 E.D.D.:
Each boy puts a marble into the “caup” and stands back, say 8 or 10 ft. at the “butts”. He throws, and if he hit any out, they became his property. He loses his marble if he “plunks” it (if it remain in the hole).

(2) to strike with a dull thud, hit with a thump (Sh., Abd., Slg., Lth., wm.Sc., Kcb. 1966). Fif. 1930:
A boy was said to plunk a bird with a catapult.

(3) to make a popping or twanging noise (i) by plucking the strings of a musical instrument (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Lnk., Kcb., Slk. 1966); (ii) by drawing a cork (Sc. 1880 Jam.). (i) Rxb. 1808 A. Scott Poems 229:
Let Europe plunk her fiddle strings.

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"Plunk adv., n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jan 2022 <>



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