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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

CHOWK, CHOUK, Chook, Chok(e), Chock, n., v.1 The cheek, the jaw (Ork. 1929 Marw., chocks); the throat or neck (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 134, chowks; Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn., chokes). Known to Cai.7, Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.17, Fif.10 1940 in form chowk. Almost invariably used in the pl., cf. Choller. [tʃɔ:k Ork.; tʃʌuk Cai., ne.Sc., m. and s.Sc.; tʃuk Abd.; tʃok Arg., Uls.]

I. n.Sc. 1808 Jam., s.v. chokkeis:
He who has the king's evil, is vulgarly said to have “the cruells in his chouks.”
Bnff.(D) 1933 M. Symon Deveron Days 29:
Sour an' dour wis a' the fowk At oor toon-en'; Mim o' mou', an' lang o' chowk, But the hoose an' ben.
Abd.15 1928:
Ye've a braw roch stibble to kittle her chooks wi'.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 2:
Chooks sunken like the craters o the meen;
A stibble growth; ringed nichtmares roon his een.
Ags. 1922 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden ii.:
Wi' her chowks a' rowed up wi' reid flannin'.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 78:
wi a bulge in's
chouks like a haimster's baggit wi seed
but fu in his case o yon sweets.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 17:
They'll no can dout that God is fair:
Black-burnin shame will melt their chowks,
An there's nae furnace burns sae sair.
Edb. 1812 P. Forbes Poems 85:
Wi' aching teeth, an' chouks a' lumps.
Arg.1 1929:
He had his chokes aa' bandaged up.
Lnk. 1930 T. S. Cairncross in Scots Mag. (Jan.) 301:
The minister is sure to be a-trimmle, White in the chouks, wi' he'rt as wee's a thim'le.

Comb.: chok-band, chowk-bin, -strap, “the small strip of leather by which a bridle is fastened around the jaws of a horse” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 31, chowk-bin s.v. cowt-hailter; Bnff.2 (-strap), Abd.2, Kcb.10 1940). Given also for n.Lin. in E.D.D.Dmf. 1832 Carlyle Letters (Norton 1886) II. 55:
Having discovered that the choke-band was tighter than it should be.

II. v. To earth up potatoes in drills, sc. to draw the earth up to their 'jaws' like a collar. Sh. 1874 Trans. Highl. Soc. 200:
"Choking," or laying the earth to the drills [of potatoes], completes the cultivation until the time of lifting the crop in September.

[O.Sc. has chouk, choulk, pl. chokkeis, the jaw, earliest quot. c.1470; also cholkband, 1506. D.O.S.T. says the orig. form was prob. cholk. Cf. O.N. kjátki, jaw-bone (Zoëga), Nor. kjake, the cheek, Norw. dial. kôk, jaws, neck (Falk and Torp). In Ork. Norn O.N. l is gen. lost before k, see Marw. Intro. xlvi.]

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"Chowk n., v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2022 <>



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