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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

AITHKEN, -KIN, EUCHKIN, n. (See second quot.) Lit. and fig. [′e:ð-kɛn, ′e:ð-kɪn, -kjən, -kjɪn (Marw.)]

1. Form aithken, lit. and fig.Ork.(D) 1880 Dennison Orcad. Sk. Bk. 29:
“Trath thu're gotten a bonnie aithkin on thee hass this blessed day! . . .” 'Deed Brockie wus a droll sight, wi' the hesp o' the jogg roond his hass.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
Aithken, a mark on sheep to denote ownership. Usually a bit of brightly coloured cloth fastened somewhere to the wool. . . . “That's mine right enough; I see me ain a — ”.

2. Form euchkin. (Not known to our correspondents.)Ork. 1920 J. Firth Remin. Ork. Par. (1922) 112:
Euchkin. . . . This was a patch of Orkney “claith” about three inches square sewn on to the wool of the hip. If on a black sheep the claith was white, and if on a white sheep the claith was black or dark grey.

[O.N. auðkenni = einkun or einkenni, a distinguishing mark on cattle. . . . The Ork. word, however, has the Scots form eath (O.E. ēað), easily . . . a case of conscious translation (Marw.).]

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"Aithken n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2024 <>



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