Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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QUINKINS, Also kinkens.

1. Dregs or leavings of any kind, scum of a liquid (Kcd. 1825 Jam.), charred traces of food which have stuck to the saucepan (Abd.4 1928); “a fry-up after the killing of a pig; tit-bits of any kind” (Ags. 1967).

2. A mere nothing, a worthless trifle (Kcd. 1825 Jam.; Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 196; Abd., Kcd. 1967). Used as an evasive answer to an inquisitive person, esp. a child (Kcd. 1880 Jam., kinkens). Phr. quinkins an' cat's bags, id.

[Orig. uncertain.]

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"Quinkins n. pl.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Apr 2021 <>



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