Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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TANKER, n. Also tankar (Abd. 1827 J. Imlah May Flowers 180), tankor (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 401). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. tankard (Sc. 1700 Edb. Gazette (5 Sept.); Abd. 1719 Cushnie MSS.; Sc. 1818 S. Ferrier Marriage xxxiv.; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; em., s.Sc. 1972). Hence tankerfu, a tankardful (Wettstein). [′tɑŋkər]

1. As in Eng. Combs. (1) tankard-backet, appar. having a back shaped like a tankard, round-shouldered and hollow-backed, but the word may orig. be a confused form of tangle-backit (see Tangle, adj., Derivs.) (em., wm., s.Sc. 1972); (2) tanker-mouthed, wide- or gaping-mouthed. (1) Dmf. 1920 J. L. Waugh Heroes 16:
A lang-faced, tankard-backet man.
(2) wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 195:
I hae pitten out thae tanker-mouthed girners [dogs] in the trance, ance and again this day.

2. A tea-kettle. Ayr. 1821 C. Lockhart Poems 117:
And brought your tanker to the boil.

3. An epithet for a fishing-boat, a vessel. Fif. 1879 G. Gourlay Fisher Life 76:
The Anstruther sailors and tradesmen had, in the spirit of their forefathers, fitted out three drave boats, long famous as the red, the white, and the black tankards.

4. A big, lean, ugly person, animal or thing (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 190).

[O.Sc. tanker, = 1., 1646. The form tanker became obs. in Eng. in 17th c.]

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"Tanker n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <https://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/tanker>

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