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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1941 (SND Vol. II). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CHUCK, Chack, n.2 Dim. chuckie, chucky, chukkie. See also Chuckie-stane.

1.  “A marble used at the game of taw” (Dmf. 1825 Jam.2); “a water-worn quartz pebble” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); any small stone; in pl. gravel. Known to Abd.19, Ags.17, Fif. correspondents, Slg.3, Edb.1, Kcb.1 1940, mainly in form chuckie.Edb. 1926 A. Muir Blue Bonnet 53:
They weren't worth bunging a chuckie at.
wm.Sc. 1979 Robin Jenkins Fergus Lamont 14:
I slid off the seat, and tiptoed away, as best I could for the path was made of white chuckies.
wm.Sc. 1980 Anna Blair The Rowan on the Ridge 4:
He threw away the rest of his chuckies, climbed crabways over to the footholds he knew were there and, grasping at an outcrop of stone overhead, gripped the first hold with his bare toes. ... "
wm.Sc. 1985 Alistair MacLean The Lonely Sea (1986) 9:
Listening to the screech of the wind, we were, and the hail like chuckies battering against the windows of the hotel.
wm.Sc. 1988 Christine Marion Fraser Storm over Rhanna (1990) 234:
'Ach, it was what the wifie wanted to hear-and Ulva is only a stone's throw from Uist as the crow flies.'
'Ay, if you were maybe some kind o' giant who could hurl chukkies eighty miles over the ocean.'
Gsw. 1933 F. Niven Mrs Barry 163:
The big house . . . stood at the top of a broad avenue strewn with little stones (chuckies).
Gsw. 1991 Maud Devine in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 123:
ma cairn
stane oan stane
aye cheyngin aye growin
wurd chukkies wurd bools cast
a mountain.
sm.Sc. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
chucky a small, flat stone.
s.Sc. 1991:
A chuckie is a throwing stone.
Rxb. 1833 A. Hall Sc. Borderer (1874) 24:
Little urchins . . . selecting sets of chucks [for the game] from the heaps of cow-lady-stanes . . . by the water side.

2. In pl.: “A game with marbles played by girls” (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 134); “game played with these [pebbles] and a rebounding ball” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.). Curriehill (a.1868) says that it is “played with small whelk shells,” and Kcb.3 1931 says: “now always played with small pebbles.” Known to Bnff.2, Ags.17, Lnk.11 1940 in form chuckies, to Fif.13 (for Clc.), Arg.1, Kcb.10 (for Ayr. and Kcb) 1940 in form chucks and to Ags.2, Edb.1, Kcb.1 1940 in form chacks. Also found in n.Eng. dial. (E.D.D.).Sc. 1822 Scott F. Nigel v.:
When a wise man is with fules and bairns, he maun e'en play at the chucks.
Ags. 1934 G. M. Martin Dundee Worthies 187:
The Chuckies. A few pebbles were placed in the palm of the hand, thrown lightly in the air and caught on the back of the hand between the fingers and repeated until one failed to have any left. A variant of this and much more difficult was at the moment of casting the chuckies the player had to lift one or more chuckies from the ground.
Fif. 1897 “S. Tytler” Lady Jean's Son iv.:
For she's off this afternoon to the Baillie's, to play at the chacks with Lilias and Bess, wearing out their carpet and crushing her own gown tails.
Fif.10 1939:
The game of chacks was played with chacks (= chackie-stones) by children (usually girls), who sat round a heap of six small rounded pebbles. The one whose turn it was to play scattered the heap, picked up one stone, threw it in the air, and caught it. Another pebble was taken and the two thrown up and caught; then three, four, and so on. All this had to be done quickly, and whoever failed in a catch dropped out. The player who got through the series successfully was winner.
Kcb. 1929 (per Kcb.1):
Chucks. At Carsluith (Creetown) this term means the “dog whelk” because children use them instead of rounded pebbles in the game of “chucks.”
Slk. 1829 Hogg Shepherd's Calendar I. ii.:
Let me see if you have influence to turn aside ane o' the hailstanes that the deils are playing at chucks wi' in yon dark chamber!

3. In pl. testicles. Sc. 2000 Sun 27 Apr :
If they are making beer for women, what will be next? Plastic chuckies for them to fit down the front of their dungarees to give that authentic something to adjust and scratch in the pub look?
Sc. 2004 Daily Record 25 Aug 4:
Kanu joined West Brom from Arsenal during pre-season. Baggies boss Gary Megson denies he signed the player to give West Brom's most irritating fan Frank Skinner a really sore boot in the chuckies.
Sc. 2004 Sunday Mail 19 Sep 8:
The departure of Ayr United manager Campbell Money and his assistant Norrie McWhirter left me thinking football certainly has a habit of kicking honest, hard-working people right in the chuckies. It was one of the most sudden severing of ties I've seen.
Edb. 1993:
I got a ba right in the chuckies.
Edb. 1994 Douglas McKenzie in James Roberston A Tongue in Yer Heid 4:
She wad sit there wi her nose in the air, fair disgusted, Granda oblivious tae everythin, his nose glued tae the paper an his chuckies danglin doon.
Gsw. 1989:
A boot in the chuckies.
Dmf. 1994 Hugh McMillan Horridge 20:
and sometimes, like when
she had that Minister by the chukkies,
shouting You fucking smarmy wee bald bastard,
she seemed the height of reason.

[Prob. from Eng. chuck, to throw or toss. Cf. stane I. 6.]

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"Chuck n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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