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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).

UMIK, n. Also umak, -ek, -ok, -ag, -og (Jak.), oomi(c)k; omi(c)k, -ek, ak, ag; ooma, -ie (Ork.). Derivs. umakie, umiki, oomikin, umekin, -ikin, emikin. [Sh. ′umək, Ork. ′umɪ]

1. A small, weak person or creature (Sh. 1897 J. Jakobsen Dial. Shet. 49, Sh. 1973, oomik(in)); a taboo name for a mouse (Sh. 1962); “an animal with one long projecting front tooth” (Ork. 1929 Marw.); also used attrib. and quasi-adj. = very small (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); odd, pitiful (Ork. 1929 Marw., ooma, -ie).Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
A umikin ting av a lamb.
Sh. 1915 Old-Lore Misc. VIII. i. 61:
Da peerie umags a' deel-föik (i.e. the fairies).

2. A very small quantity of something, a handful, particularly used of grain or hay (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 164, oomick, 1908 Jak. (1928), 1914 Angus Gl.). In pl. emikins, a collection or heap of very small objects (Jak.).Sh. 1949 New Shetlander No. 16. 38:
Pit a omik a aetmael a da grice maet.

[Norw. dial. umage, omagje, a poor weakling, O.N. úmagi, one incapable of looking after himself.]

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"Umik n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 26 Sep 2022 <>



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