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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

CHACKIE MILL, Chacky mill, Chackie mull, n. comb. The death-watch beetle, an insect of the genus Anobium. Known to Abd. correspondents only (1939). Cf. elf-mill s.v. Elf.Bnff. 1880 J. F. S. Gordon Chrons. of Keith 63:
The “Chacky Mill” or Death-Watch (occasioned by the very rapid motions of the head of an Insect in old wood boring its way) was conjectured to be a forego of Death or a Flitting.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas, etc. 129:
Here's ghaists . . . and wraiths . . . and chackie mills.
Abd.(D) 1915 H. Beaton At the Back o' Benachie 43:
If a death-watch, or, as it was then called, “the chackie mull,” was heard . . . those of the inmates who heard it were in a state of secret fear and trembling.

[For first element, cf. Chack, v.2, to make a clicking noise. Second element obscure.]

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"Chackie Mill ". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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