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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

SQUAIK, v., n. Also squake, squeck, squack, squaak, squaich, -gh, squech, squaach, squach, -gh, squeech. [skwek, skweç, skwɑx]

I. v. To squeal, squeak, screech, scream, squawk, squall, esp. of birds or trapped animals (Cld., Slk. 1825 Jam., squaigh; Abd., Kcd. 1921 T.S.D.C.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., squeck; Ork., Ags., Per., wm.Sc., Kcb., s.Sc. 1971). Also fig. Also vbl.n.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 151:
A mither wanted whiles, Her squaching bairnie gude.
Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballads 181:
The pretty babe within her sides, The cauld it garr'd it squake.
Rnf. 1842 R. Clark Rhymes 19:
The helpfu' han' o' howdie, Brings squechan gear.
Lnk. 1867 J. M. Peacock Reverie 188:
Up in their holes the hoolets screech'd, The wul-cats squeel'd an' squakit.
e.Lth. 1896 J. Lumsden Battles 49:
Their pipes an' fiddles skirl an' squeck.
Hdg. 1903 J. Lumsden Toorle 213:
His Minnie gave him sooks for squackin'.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick i.:
It's mair like a littlinie squaakin.
Sh. 1957 Sh. Folk-Bk. III. 60:
A kishie-foo o Faroe braandy wisna ta be squeeched at.
wm.Sc. 1988 Scotsman (6 Feb) viii:
And presently there was the squeching of a starling, then the commotions and fluttering of birds disturbed. Within seconds there was a second squeching.
m.Sc. 1997 Liz Niven Past Presents 14:
A swine squeals atour the yerd
Trotters clicking on corbled tiles
Dirt fear flashin in its een
A saw-like squaiking
Fae the screed in its thrapple.

Hence deriv. squaicher, the starling, Sturnus vulgaris (Ayr. 1890, 1929 Paton & Pike Birds Ayr. 12, squakker).

II. n. A loud scream, screech, esp. the cry of a trapped bird or animal (wm.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Kcb. 1900, squaich; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.; Abd., Kcd. 1921 T.S.D.C.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., squeck; Cai., Per., wm., s.Sc. 1971).Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 159, 176:
The ducks I heard giein queer eldrich squakes. . . . Gieing the hearty scraigh and squagh, While the fumart hang by him fu' stout.
Ayr. 1879 R. Adamson Lays 102:
A squech or twa on Natur's whustle.

Deriv. and combs.: squecky, the blackbird, Turdus merula (Dmf. 1958); squeaky jocks, grape hyacinths, Muscari racemosum (n.Ags. 1953).

[Orig. imit., partly representing Eng. squeak, squawk. The variant forms convey differences of pitch or intensity in the sound indicated.]

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"Squaik v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 Sep 2022 <>



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