Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
About this entry:
First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
SLACK, n.2 Also slak; ¶slacht; slake; and Sh. forms slackie, -y, slakki, and, by confusion with Slag, n.2, sl(j)aag (Sh. 1904 E.D.D., 1914 Angus Gl.). [slɑk; Sh. ′slɑke]
1. A hollow or declivity, esp. between hills, a saddle in a hill-ridge, a defile, dell, pass (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 193, slak; Ork. 1929 Marw.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai; Sh. (slakki), n. Sc., Peb., Bwk., s.Sc. 1970). Freq. in place-names in ne. Scot., Per., w.Lth., Kcb. (Corse o' Slakes), Dmf., Rxb., etc. Comb. hill-slack, id. Also in deriv. form slacking.Bnff. 1719 W. Cramond Ann. Cullen 79:
The common moss or Chamar Slack.Sc. 1723 W. MacFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 57:
A large solitary Den called St Ethernens Slack.Dmf. 1758 A. Steel Annan (1933) 98:
The Slacking or Hollow Ground mentioned in the said proposal.Sc. 1774 Survey Assynt (S.H.S.) 37:
South of the Infields in a Slack betwixt two Hills.Rxb. 1802 J. Leyden Lord Soulis xix.:
Red Ringan sped, and the spearmen led, Up Goranberry slack.Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxiii.:
I see some folk coming through the slack yonder.Crm. 1835 H. Miller Scenes 94:
A marshy hollow, known as Wallace-Slack.Dmf. 1841 S. Hawkins Poems V. 23:
When I met you on yon hill-slack.Fif. 1867 St Andrews Gaz. (19 Oct.):
Descending by the Hare Slacht — too steep for any but juveniles.Abd. 1875 A. Smith New Hist. Abd. II. 690:
Southward by the slack of the hill.m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 21:
Afore ye think to cross the lea, And mount the slack.Sh. 1949 P. Jamieson Letters 213:
Snaa fanns lay in a slacky near a burn.Ayr. 2000:
Dune slacks. [depressions and hollows in sand dunes]
2. Hence fig. by extension: (1) an opening or gap between clouds (Rxb. 1824 J. Telfer Border Ballads 69); (2) in phrs. (i) slack o' the hass, “the narrowest part of the throat” (Lth. 1808 Jam.), the gullet; (ii) slack o' the ribs, the narrowest part of a horse's back at the base of the ribs, the loins.(2) (ii) s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xxix.:
Passing the bridle round his chest and the slack of the horse's ribs.
3. A low-lying waterlogged depression in the ground, a marsh, morass (Rxb. 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1970). Also in n.Eng. dial. and place-names. Cf. Slag, n.2Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. xxv.:
A deep morass, termed in that country a slack.s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xxviii.:
The yellow slack that feeds the Blackburn.
4. A gap, hole in gen. (Sh. 1970).Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 44:
‘Da, I can wirk it oot wi' Alljibra.' Says I, ‘Jibra doo anidder kishiefoo inta dis slackie, so as I git him biggid aff.'
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Slack n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Jun 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/slack_n2>