Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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POWK, v.1, n.1 Also pouk (Abd. 1934 D. Scott Stories 36), puik (Per. 1904 R. Ford Hum. Sc. Stories (Ser. 2) 50, 109), pook (Abd. 1931 J. H. Hall Holy Man xxvii.); pukk (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); poak. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. poke. [pʌuk; puk, esp. I.Sc.]

I. v. 1. As in Eng. Used fig., in phr. to powk up, to provoke or annoy (a person), to stir one up, rouse a person to anger, bait. Abd. 1929 Abd. Wkly. Jnl. (21 Feb.) 6:
Ye'll min' foo we powkit up the domonie at skweel on Fastern's Eve.

2. tr. or intr. To dig or excavate in a careless, clumsy way (Bnff., Ags. 1966), to damage by excavation or holing. Bnff. 1719 W. Cramond Ann. Cullen (1888) 79:
The magistrates appoint a moss grieve and appoint that none pouk or pott the mosses or cast up the lairs.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 134:
He wiz powkin, an' howkin a big hole, fin a geed in aboot.

3. To strike, esp. with the foot, to push, shove, thrust, kick (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928), pukk); to butt (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Sh. 1962 New Shetlander No. 63. 26:
Da young eens pookin da baa.

4. To thump, beat, thrash, chastise. Vbl.n. pookin, a thrashing (Ork. 1958); phr. to get one's pookins, to get “what's coming to one,” “what for”. Ork. 1959:
Thee faither's better no find thee mischief or thou'll get thee pookins.

II. n. 1. A blow, esp. with the foot, a push, shove (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). Dim. pookie, a variety of the game of marbles (Ork. 1923 P. Ork. A.S. 67).

2. A hollow or hole in the ground, gen. waterlogged or marshy (Mry. 1825 Jam.; Mry., Per. 1966); “a deep hole or pit, either full, or empty” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 134). Cf. I. 2. Abd. 1770 Session Papers, Gordon v. Gordon (7 March) 12:
It was a pouk or very boggy ground.
Bnff. 1961 Stat. Acc.3 282:
Between Mains of Auchengoul and the River Deveron, are the “powks” of Auchengoul, a number of holes with what appear to be traces of rude building.

[Variants of Eng. poke, †pooke, †pouke, †pukke, with sim. vowel alternations.]

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"Powk v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Sep 2021 <>



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