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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

SKINK, n.1 Also skenk (Sh.). [skɪŋk]

1. A shin of beef, a knuckle, ox-hough (Kcd. 1825 Jam.; Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.; Inv., Abd. 1904 E.D.D.; ne.Sc. 1938 Scotsman (2 Feb.); Sh., n.Sc., Per., ‡Lnk. 1970); the smoked hough of an ox (Sh. 1904 E.D.D.); also jocularly of the human leg, the shank. Comb. skink-hough, a shin of beef (Sc. 1825 Jam.).Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 62:
Until ye get your sowans, ne'er jow, Nor fash your skinks.
Sh. 1892 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 249:
Da half o' a reisted coo's head, an' twa skenk houghs.
Sh. 1947 Sh. Folk Bk. I. 71:
Neers, reestid tees an' skenk hochs.
Abd. 1966 Buchan Observer (25 Oct.) 7:
Lean sirloin, skink an' pot-roast.

2. A soup or potage made from boiled shin of beef (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 465; Sh., ne. Sc., Ags., ‡Lnk. 1970); “soup of any kind” (wm.Sc. 1825 Jam.), thin soup (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 185). Comb. skink-broth, id. (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.). See also Cullen skinkSc. 18th c. J. Ramsay Scot. and Scotsmen (1888) II. 71:
In the end of the last century the lawyers were consulted at four and five in the morning — sometimes in the tavern, where they got skink and sweet wine by way of whet.
Sc. 1708 Brief Acct. Elections North Britain 5:
According to a homely Proverb in our Country, viz. That a Spoonful of Skitter will spoil a Potful of Skink.
Per. 1737 Ochtertyre Ho. Bk. (S.H.S.) 21:
Dinner skink and tripe in it.
Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems 211:
Frae guid brown skinks to apple-pie.
Kcd. 1819 J. Burness Plays, etc. 290:
Beef an' mutton, rice an' skink.
Sc. 1844 H. Stephens Bk. Farm II. 169:
It was of this piece [hough] that the old favourite soup of Scotland, called skink, was made.
Abd. 1875 G. MacDonald Malcolm II. iii.:
She wabblet a' ower like cauld skink.
Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 58:
Tak a drap warm tea an' some o' that gude skink.

[O.Sc. skink, hough soup, c.1575, hough, 1631, Mid. Du. schenke, shin, hough, ham.]

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"Skink n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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