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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.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

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 20 Jun 2024 <>



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