Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SKREEK, n. Also screek, skriek, screak; ¶skraik (Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 43); skreech, screech, screach, scr(e)ich, schriechs; skreigh, screigh, screegh; skreeh, skrieh; scraich, scraigh. [‡skrik, skri:ç; occas. skre:ç]

In phr. skreek o day, the peep of day, first light, the crack of dawn (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 423; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.; Abd. 1897 Trans. Bch. Field Club IV. 81; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Arg. 1936 L. McInnes S. Kintyre 15, schriechs; Ork., ne., m. and s.Sc. 1970). Also skreek o dawn (Uls. 1953 Traynor Gl.; Edb. 1970), -daylicht, -licht, -mornin(g), -sky, id., and in reduced form screech and deriv. skraichum (Per. 1928). Slg. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XV. 325:
A proverbial expression in this county, the screich of day light.
Rxb. 1802  Scott Minstrelsy II. 337:
The page he look'd at the skrieh of day .
Sc. 1815  C. I. Johnstone Clan-Albin I. ix.:
He was at Ballyruag by the “screech”.
Sc. 1818  Scott Rob Roy xxiii.:
To send the crier through the toun for ye at skreigh o' day the morn.
Abd. 1824  G. Smith Douglas 47:
The morn, Glenalvon, by the screek o' sky.
Fif. 1841  C. Gray Lays 228:
A laverock thus, at skreek of morn.
Kcb. 1885  A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe xxvii.:
I'll be away by the scraich o' day.
Edb. 1917  T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's xxxi. 15:
She's up in the mornin' by the screigh o' licht.
Abd. 1920  G. P. Dunbar Peat Reek 8:
She wrocht fae skreek o' mornin' till the mirkest oor ye'll name.
Fif. 1933  J. Ressich Thir Braw Days 29:
Somewheres aboot the skreigh o' dawn.
Edb. 1958  J. W. Oliver Peevers 18:
'Tween the screigh o' day an' the gloamin'.

[A variant with prothetic s of Creek, q.v. See S, letter, 5. The forms have become confused with those of Skreich and Skraich.]

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"Skreek n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2019 <>



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