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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BINK, Benk, Baenk, n.1 [bɪŋk, bɛŋk Sc.; bŋk Sh.]

1. A wooden frame fixed to the wall of a house for holding plates, bowls, spoons, etc.; a shelf, a plate-rack; the modern dresser or bink-aumry.Sc. 1824 Sir Walter Scott Redgauntlet Vol. 1 (1894) 46:
The bink, with its usual arrangement of pewter and earthen-ware, which was most strictly and critically clean, glanced back the flame of the lamp merrily from one side of the apartment.
Sc. 1929 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 263:
Lady John [Scott, 1810–1900] had been visiting my grandmother, and was admiring the pretty, blue dinner ware arranged on the kitchen “bink” (dresser).
Ork. 1911 J. Firth in Old-Lore Misc., Ork., Sh., etc. IV. i. 20:
The bink, a large slab of blue, smooth stone . . . took the place of the modern dresser, and on it were arranged the bowls and tinnies for family use, while underneath were placed the pails, pots, and other cooking utensils.
Cai. 1915 Hoosie on the Heicht in John o' Groat Jnl. (25 June):
Ye entered by the hallan door, an' syne ye saw the bink Wi' bowls an' bickers, skellat joogs, an' siccan leems for drink.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 3:
An 'cause I left her not the weary clink, She sell't the very trunchers frae my bink.
Hdg. 1902 J. Lumsden Toorle, etc. 194:
His smile is like the sunny blink That gleams upo' the wifie's bink, Whan plates an' cups an' saucers dink Its wondrous shelves.
Rnf. 1836 R. Allan Poems and Songs 113:
An something i' the bink to cheer The heart o' wife an' wean.

2. A bench, used for various purposes (see quots.). Denoting a seat of honour (see first quot.).Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 108:
For faut o' wise men fools sit on binks. [Kelly (1721) 105 gives benks.]
Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928); 1866 Edm. Gl. s.v. baenk; Sh.4 1934:
Benk. A bench, prop. a stone-bench covered with turf, placed along the wall (esp. the gable-wall) in a room or out-building.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
Benk, a bench (of stone, wood, earth, etc.); usually employed of such a bench placed just by the door (either outside or inside) for pails of water to stand on.
Cai.4 c.1920:
Bink. A stone shelf or bench, stone bench on which water is set.
Cai. 1991 John Manson in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 78:
She ligged in her ain sharn
The rousted scy blades
Still lig on the bink.
m.Sc. 1988 William Neill Making Tracks 55:
Dae they mind on us, the trees, in the grey touns
whaur a tree is anither thing in a Cooncil Park
lik a widden bink, aw thir tame beds o flouers
in couthie suburbs hapt wi an airn dyke,
nae mair a pairt o thair realitie
nor fremit beasts in a faur ceetie zoo?
Lnk. 1832 W. Motherwell Jeanie Morrison in Poet. Wks. (1849) 18:
'Twas then we sat on ae laigh bink, To leir ilk ither lear.
Gall. 1725 Session Bk. Minnigaff (1939) 468:
Six Communion tables and footing of benks for seats.
Kcb.3 1929:
Bink, a long narrow chest the lid of which served as a form or seat; the fiddler's seat at merry-makings; hence whistle binkie.
Dmf. 1899 J. Shaw Country Schoolmaster 344:
Bink, a bench, a long form used in schools.

3. A bank; an acclivity; the perpendicular part of a peat-moss from which the labourer who stands opposite to it cuts his peats. Also fig. Sc. 1991 T. S. Law in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 31:
oasis alane in this haill wilderness
whaur ilka bink an rowe o the camel pad maun gang.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 19:
Up thro' the cleughs, where bink on bink was set, Scrambling wi' hands and feet she taks the gate.
Arg.1 1933:
The peat face in this district is invariably Bink not Bank.
Gsw. 1879 A. G. Murdoch Rhymes and Lyrics 32:
But, Tam, I think, we'll pause a blink, An' rest oor shanks, an' tak a smoke; Let's owre to yon bit floo'ry bink, Sweet-shaded by yon mossy rock.
Ayr. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIV. 66:
They work, or they oblige others to work, the peat bink, with order and regularity.
Ayr. 1882 J. Hyslop Dream of a Masque 170:
Though we canna brag o' gear, Nor hae binks o' gowden ore.

4. The hob of a fireplace; shelf or ledge at each side of an old-fashioned grate; high stone at each side of an old fireplace; side of fireplace forming a recess.Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. xvi.:
Meg keepit it [the tea-cosy] clockin' on the teapot on the bink owre near the fire an' scaum't it a'.
Bnff. 1902 J. Grant Agric. in Bnffsh. 150 Years Ago 9 in Transactions of the Banffshire Field Club (1902):
Opposite the “bun breist” was the fireplace, an open expanse, flanked with the “binks” and two “boles” above.
Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 176:
The cat was somewhere 'neath the bed, She couldna' haud the bink securely.
em.Sc. 1913 J. Black Gloamin' Glints 17:
On the bink they'd get a warmin' While the peats were burning red.
Lnk.3 1934:
Bink, sometimes used of the fireside seat whose back was the hallan [which divided kitchen from outhouse].
Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Trad. Tales II. 43:
Aboon the fire upon the bink, He had bread to eat an' wine to drink.

5. “A small heap of clay, mortar, mould, etc.” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D.Bnff. 11).

6. “A hive” (Lth., Rxb. 1825 Jam.2).Edb. 1824 [J.Scott] Royal Sc. Minstrelsy 92:
And folks walked to-and-fro, as thick as bum-bees in a bink.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Bink. A nest of wasps or wild-bees.

Combs.: “bee-bink, a nest or hive of bees; wasp-bink, a hive of wasps” (Lth., Rxb. 1825 Jam.2).

7. “Low ridge, esp. of the ridge formed by the earthing of potatoes, taati-b[enk]” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928) s.v. benk).

8. “A ledge of rock” (Cai.4 c.1920); “a ledge in a cliff” (Cai. 1907 D. B. Nicolson in County of Cai. 65).

9. “A bed” (nw., centr., s.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 56).

[Cogn. with Eng. bench, bank.]

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"Bink n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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