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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SEECK, adj., n. Also seek, seik, sick, sike. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. sick. See P.L.D. § 41. Hence seikly (Ags. 1708 W. M. Inglis Angus Par. (1904) 53), seikness (Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 131). [sik]

I. adj.

Sc. forms of Eng. sick.wm.Sc. 1985 Liz Lochhead Tartuffe 9:
Come dork, she wis richt weak
Wi' the gowpin' o' her sair heid and seeck
At the thocht o' touchin' a singel bite.
wm.Sc. 1986 Robert McLellan in Joy Hendry Chapman 43-4 20:
The Kirk Session need neir ken. The coo's seik, ye fule. Will the Kirk Session tell us hoo to save it?
Dundee 1988 Ellie McDonald in Joy Hendry Chapman 54 29:
The spectators
cheered thaim on like they wir glaudiators
about tae dee. A pucklie wir fell seik seik
lookin oniewey.
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 14:
Efter, bledder taen oot an
Raised tae mooth,
It swelt gin till
They tethered it wae its thairm
An let it dry fur days.
Syne kicked across the yerd
Tae the boy, seik, scunnert ...
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 52:
' ... I canna work up enthusiasm for onythin. I've got a shitey wee job and I canna even finish the shift. I feel physically run doon aw the time. Seik. Knackert.'

Sc. usages:

1. In combs. and derivs., freq. with adverbial intensive force: (1) sick-fu, full to bursting, ready to disgorge; (2) sick-laith, extremely unwilling, very reluctant (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B.); (3) sickness, used specif. of a disease of sheep, braxy (Sc. 1807 Prize Essays Highl. Soc. III. 362; Ork. 1969); (4) sickrife, seekrif(f), (i) sickly, slightly ill (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ‡Abd., em.Sc. (a), Lnk. 1969). Now liter.; (ii) of pasture-ground: tainted with sickness in sense (3) above; (iii) sickening, nauseating, lit. and fig., tiresome (Ags. 1958); (5) sick saired, -sair(t), thoroughly sated or bored, sick to death (Abd., Ags. 1825 Jam.; Ork., ne.Sc. 1969). Also in phr. sick and saired, id. See Ser, and (7) below; (6) sick-sorry, id. (wm.Sc. 1825 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); very sorry (Ork., Cai. 1969); (7) seek-stawed, -staaed, seik-stawed = (5) (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; w.Lth., Peb., Dmf. 1969). See Staw; (8) sick-tired, id. (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Cf. Eng. sick and tired.(1) Peb. 1793 R. Brown Comic Poems (1817) 120:
Wi' Gowk-hill-news sick-fu' . . . To spew his budget-fu' o' tales.
(2) Edb. 1796 A. Steel Twa Cuckolds 11:
“I'll be sick laith” quo' Will.
s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xvii.:
Somehow I'm sick-laith to leave her.
(4) (i) Sc. 1920 A. Gray Songs from Heine 29:
Wha are you, and what ails you, You sickrife stranger loon?
(ii) Peb. 1829 Trans. Highl. Soc. I. 55:
Sickrife is a pastoral word, and, applied to pasture, signifies that sickness is the prevailing distemper among the flocks.
(iii) Fif. 1867 S. Tytler Diamond Rose II. iv.:
I've been picking the hips as I travelled along, but they are sickrife, they are no a treat like the ripe brambles.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 81:
The doonstair room gets that het an' seekrif.
Fif. 1938 Daily Record (23 June):
When an irate wife calls her husband a “seekriff baste”, she means merely that he is a tiresome creature.
Fif. 1969:
Ach, ye're fair seekriff. I simply canny be fasht wi' ye.
(5) Abd. 1801 W. Beattie Parings (1813) 16:
At last, sick-sair'd o' cards an' drink.
Ags. 1894 F. Mackenzie Cruisie Sk. xvi.:
I am sick saired o' him, an' he maun get anither man.
Abd. 1929 J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 4:
I'm sick an' sair't o' steerin' streets.
Abd. 1958 People's Jnl. (19 July):
The bottle steid in the winda a' winter til the guidwife wis sick sair seein't.
(6) Arg. 1898 N. Munro J. Splendid xxiii.:
I was sick sorry that we had set out upon this adventure.
Fif. 1909 J. Colville Lowland Sc. 137:
No mercy was shown to him that said he was “deid sweer”, or would be “seek sorry”.
(7) Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 19:
A'm seek-staaed o the wundy aippeen an the putten-on mimpeen.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 29:
" ... Here in the fires o ma agony,
An e'en the deils are seik-stawed - ... "
(8) Rnf. 1861 J. Barr Poems 11:
I'm sick tired o' a bachelor life.
Rnf. 1928 G. Blake Paper Money viii.:
I'm sick tired listening to you.
Edb. 1931 E. Albert Herrin' Jennie 107:
I was seeck-tired o' the auld late-nicht.

II. n. An attack of illness, an indisposition. Obs. in Eng.n.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
The sick's na aff him.

[O.Sc. seik, ill, 1375. The form seeck is the normal development of O.E. sēoc. The short vowel in Eng. sick is unexplained.]

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"Seeck adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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