Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

SLUNK, n.1 Also †slonk. [slʌŋk]

I. n. 1. A wet and muddy hollow, a soft, deep, wet rut in a road, a ditch, mire, slough (Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. Gl., slonk; Slk. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., slonk; Gall. 1931 H. Maxwell Place-Names 208; Wgt. 1970), a bog-hole. Also in place-names. Adj. slunk(e)y, slonky, of roads: miry and rutted, full of wet holes (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl.). Sc. 1732  P. Walker Six Saints (1901) II. 20:
In the Dear-slunk, in midst of a great flow moss betwixt Clydsdale and Lothian.
Ags. 1826  A. Balfour Highland Mary I. i.:
Ilka slunk that the wheel gat into.
Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 88:
Amang the harbour's sludge and mud; They row'd thegither in the slunk.
Edb. 1829  G. Wilson Sc. Laverock 127:
He scrambl't frae the slunk like a drouket hen.
Per. 1831  Perthshire Advert. (3 March):
The task was somewhat troublesome, the slunks and burns numerous.
Uls. 1884  Cruck-a-leaghan and Slieve Gallion Lays 76:
He started for home over roads saft and slunkey.
Ags. 1888  Brechin Advert. (21 Feb.) 3:
These last are but boggy weet slunks.
Kcb. 1904  Crockett Strong Mac xvii.:
The green-scummed “well-eyes,” the bottomless slunks.
Uls. 1900  T. Given Poems 152:
What though oor road be rouch, Though slunks be thick alang it.
Uls. 1953  Traynor:
A slunk on a moor is a hole “not rendered safe by vegetation”. . . . The road's very slunkly.

2. “A hollow in sandy links” (Ork. 1929 Marw., Ork. 1970).

3. In Mining: “a wide clayey joint, a stage” (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 61).

4. A wet and splashy sound, “the noise our feet make when sinking in a miry bog” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 428, slonk). Also in vbl. form slonking, id. (Ib.).

II. v. To wade through wet, boggy ground, to flounder. Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 73:
Feckfu' Folk can front the bauldest Wind, And slonk thro' Moors.

[O.Sc. slonk, = 1., c.1470, slunk, id., 1665. Appar. of Scand. orig. Cf. Dan. dial. slank, slunk, a hollow in the ground, prob. cogn. with Slack, n.2]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Slunk n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 15 Dec 2019 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: