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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BOWK, Bouk, v. and n. [bʌuk]

1. v. (1) “To retch “ (Mry.1 1925, bowk, bouk; Bnff.9 1927; Abd.9, Ags.1, Edb.1 1935); to vomit (Ork. 1975).Rxb.(D) 1927 E. C. Smith Braid Haaick 14:
Ei says ei's leike ti bowk. A dinna wunder at eet; ei ett till ei was leike ti burst.
Dmf. 1836 A. Cunningham Lord Roldan II. ix.:
It [the sea] has fairly bouked him out; sic stuff wadna bide on its stomach.

(2) “To emit or eject smoke” (centr.–w. Rxb. 1923 Watson W .-B.); ppl.adj. bowkin.Rxb.(D) 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes an Knowes 18:
A keek oot ov a slaistert woark-place wundih on ti bowkin lums.

2. n. “A vomiting, or the retching preceding the same” (Abd.9, Ags.1 1935).Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 195:
An' syne he gaed a fearfu' bowk, An' bang'd them a' for spuein' Clear drink that day.

[O.Sc. has bolk (15th cent.), to belch, which becomes regularly bowk in Mod.Sc. The l form is found also in Eng. dial. and in Mid.Eng. bolken, bulken. Cf. Du. bulken, to roar, and O.E. bealcan, to belch, utter (Sweet).]

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"Bowk v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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