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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CRUIK, CRUICK, CREUK, KRUK, KRUIK, CRUKE, CRUCK, n. and v. Also crick (Peb. 1964 Stat. Acc.3 54). Sc. forms and meanings of Eng. crook, which is now the prevalent spelling also in Sc. [kruk, krjuk Sc., but Ork. + krøk, em.Sc.(a), wm.Sc. + krʌk. See also P.L.D. §§ 86, 93.1, 96.1, 100.1, etc.]

I. n.

1. A hook in gen., esp. the hook from which pots are hung over the fire. Extended to include the chain on which the hook was placed (Sc. 1825 Jam.2, crook, cruke, cruck). Gen.Sc., obsol.Sc. 1834 H. Miller Scenes and Leg. (1850) 250:
The crook — a chain about six feet in length, with a hook at one end, and a large ring at the other, . . . hung in Nannie's chimney to suspend her pots over the fire.
Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. (1922) 9:
The pots were hung from this suspender by a crook which was linked up or down according to the degree of heat required for cooking.
ne.Sc. 1874 W. Gregor Echo Olden Time 19:
There were two other methods of taking away the luck from a house. The one was for the tenant who was leaving to mount to the roof and pull up the crook through the lum, instead of removing it in the usual way by the door.
Mry. 1708 in E. D. Dunbar Social Life (1865) 212:
Seven iron scewers, a crook and a pair tongs.
Per. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 V. 83:
When a child was baptised privately, it was not long since customary, to put the child upon a clean basket, having a cloth previously spread over it, with bread and cheese put into the cloth, and thus to move the basket three times successively round the iron crook, which hangs over the fire. . . . This might be anciently intended to counteract the malignant arts, which witches and evil spirits were imagined to practise against newborn infants.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 59:
And up the cruick and randale tree The bonny woodbin' twin'd.

Comb. cruik-shell, ? the chain supporting the cruik over the fire. The second element may represent Sell, n.1, in the gen. sense of a chain. Slk. 1813 Hogg Queen's Wake (1819) 79: 
We set a foot on the black cruik-shell, And out at the lum we flew.

2. A hook (1) by which a door is fastened; (2) on which a door is hung; (3) on which a gate is hung (Sc. 1890 H. Stephens Bk. Farm IV. 432).(1) Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs II. 164:
Steek the door and thraw the crook.
Ags. 1769 Session Rec. Arbirlot MS. (6 Dec.): 
Bands, Crooks and a Key to said Door.
(2)Knr. 1717-24 Covenanters of Knr. (1895) 13: 
They took the door off the crooks of the dwelling house.

3. A sheep-mark; “a larger piece taken out of the middle of the lug” (Ork. 1887 R. Pococke Tours in Scot. 140, Note), or “a semi-circular notch in one side of the ear” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kruk).Sh.(D) 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 176:
The various sheep marks had names by which they were known, bits, crooks . . . indicating different cuts in the ear.

4. Fig. A misfortune, a trial, a cross.Bch. 1832 W. Scott Poems 89:
It [love] may delight at times wi' paukie looks, But still it has its jealousies an' crooks.
Ags. 1846 A. Laing Wayside Flowers (1857) 39:
In a' crooks an' crosses, she calmly obeys.
Edb. 1798 D. Crawford Poems 47:
For siccan crooks lay i' the way.

5. A halt, a limp.Sc. 1723 T. Boston Memoirs xi. 339:
Yet in a little the crook left him.

6. “A disease in sheep characterised by curvature of the neck” (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., cruik); also in Eng. dial. (E.D.D.).

7. Phrs.: (1) as black as a (the) crook, very black, very dirty (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Ags.17, Fif.10 1941; Uls.2 1929); (2) as peer's the links o' the crook, like the links o' the crook, very poor; very thin, meagre (Bnff.2 1941; Abd.27 1946); †(3) crook in one's (the) lot, = 4. above; (4) crook of one's lot, one's fortune; (5) to ca' (ding, put) a hack (mark) i(n) the crook (cruck), to celebrate some notable event (Bnff.2, Abd.2, Arg.1 (tae put a mark in the cruck) 1941).(1) Ags. 1867 G. W. Donald Poems 6:
Yet here you are, my gude auld frien', As black's th' crook.
Edb. c.1796 H. Macneill Poet. Works (1801) II. 70:
How the sorrow! on me can our lads ever look Whan I gang aye sae thief-like, as black as the crook!
(2) Abd. 1912–19 Buchan Proverbs in Rymour Club Misc. II. 177:
He's like the links o' the crook, baith himsel' and his gear — gey puir.
(3) Sc. a.1732 T. Boston Crook in the Lot:
The Crook in the Lot; or the Wisdom and Sovereignty of God displayed in the afflictions of men.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian I. xi.:
I have, nevertheless, so learned them [Scripture], that I trust to bear even this crook in my lot with submission.
Abd. 1828 J. Ruddiman Tales and Sketches 32–33:
Year after year his crops failed . . . there was a certain fate attending him, — a sort of “crook in his lot,” which even the best of men are oftentimes subjected to.
Edb. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 116:
For ilka body has a crook In their ain lot, An' ever think it warst to brook, Nor soon forgot.
(4) wm.Sc. [1835–37] Laird of Logan (1868) 301–302:
My hope is, that every change in the crook of my lot has not owerslided without improvement.
(5) Sc. 1935 J.W. in Abd. Press and Jnl. (9 April):
That other homely phrase, “Ca' a hack i' the crook,” as when the goodwife would make an effort to entertain a stranger with something better than “pot-luck” or chance fare.
Mry.(D) 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. iii.:
One morning Jeames rose at eight o' clock, and to mark her appreciation of this departure, Tibbie “put a hack in the crook.”
Abd.(D) 1915 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 22:
It's a sicht for sair een tae see ye, Lisbeth. Fat his come ye? Ye'll need tae ding a hack i' tha crook, Aw doot.

8. Combs.: (1) crook-an-da-links, the hook and chain from which a pot hangs over an open fire; (2) crook-bauk, kruk baulk, “a beam lying across the house, from waahead to waahead, above the fire, from which the links and kruk depend” (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., kruk baulk); (3) crook-key, a rod with a crook on one end which passes through a hole in the door to remove the wooden bar serving as a lock in old Orkney houses; (4) crook-liver, “a disease among calves” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 221); cf. Liver-crook; (5) crook saidle, — saddle, a saddle for supporting panniers; “cart saddle” (e.Rs.1 1929, crook saidle); †(6) crook-studie, cruik-, “a cross beam in a chimney from which the crook is suspended” (Rxb. 1825 Jam.2); cf. (2) above; (7) creuk tree, crook-, kruik-, = (2) above (Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. (1922) 150, creuktree; 1929 Marw., kruik-).(1) Sh.(D) 1891 J. J. H. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 10:
As he strak noo an dan i da crook-an-da-links, Whin da lad swang his tail ita ean o his jinks.
(2) Sh.(D) 1899 J. Spence Folk-Lore 197:
The round peat fire blazes to the crook-bauk.
(3) Ork. 1920 J. Firth Reminisc. (1922) 52:
He had no difficulty about getting in, she having, before she ran the bar, slipped the crook-key above the odder stane of the door.
(5) Bnff. 1902 J. Grant Agric. in Bnffsh. 150 Years Ago 10:
The crook saddle I have seen with the late Mr. Findlater of Balvenie.
Abd.(D) 1877 W. Alexander North. Rural Life in 18th Cent. 38:
The ordinary carriages of the farm were accomplished by means of “currachs” or creels of wickerwork — hung from a “crook saddle” — one on each side of the horse.
w.Sc. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 248:
Horse-loads are for the most part carried in small creels, one on each side of the horse, and fixed by a rope to the crook-saddle.
(7) Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 363:
She [a witch] can set her fit on the crook-tree ony nicht, an' flee up the lum.
Ags. 1875 J. Watson Verse Samples 65:
A pussy's tail and pullets' heads Were owre the crooktree hung.
Rxb. 1825 R. Wilson Hist. Hawick vi.:
She clung with Amazonian resolution to the crook-tree and refused to be removed [from a subsiding house].

II. v.

1. (1) intr. to become lame, to limp; (2) tr. to make lame (Gall. 1898 E.D.D., cruck, obsol.).(1) Sc. 1723 T. Boston Memoirs xi. 339:
Just as we were got into Moffat water, I discerned my horse crooking.
(2) Lnk. 1825 Jam.2:
You'll fa', and cruck yoursell.

2. Ppl.adjs.: (1) crooked. “lame (of animal or man)” (Cai.8 1926; Cai.7 1941); (2) crookit, cross, “easily annoyed” (Uls. 1924 “Peadar” in North. Whig (8 Jan.)).(2) Ags. 1892 Brechin Advertiser (12 April) 3/5:
Say nae a crookit wird.

3. Phrases: (1) not to crook a finger, not to make the slightest exertion (Abd.9, Ags.17, Slg.3, Lnk.11, Kcb.1 1941); (2) to crook (crui(c)k) a (one's) hough(s) (haughs), (a) to sit down; †(b) to bend the knee-joint in order to dance (Sc. 1726 P. Walker Biographia Presbyteriana I. 211.); (3) to crook one's elbow (see quot.); known to Abd.9, Ags.17, Fif.10, Lnk.11 1941; (4) to crook one's mou, (a) to bring the lips together in order to whistle or to articulate (Abd.9, Ags.17 1941); †(b) “to disfigure the face as one does who is about to cry” (Jam.2); †(c) to purse the lips in order to show anger, displeasure or scorn; (5) to cut (tak (up wi')) the crookit stick, to accept an inferior wooer (Ags.17 1941; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 194, — cut — ).(1) Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
“He didna crook a finger in the business,” he did not give me the least assistance.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick viii.:
The folk in Scotland didna care an auld sang for their kirk, an' wadna crook a finger to keep it up.
(2) (a) Ags.17 1941:
I remember an old lady remarking about a neighbour: “She's a nesty, prood, upsettin' dame; she wadna as muckle's crook a hough in my hoose.”
Lnk. 1887 A. Wardrop Mid-Cauther Fair, etc. 193:
Cruick your houghs, man . . . this is a gran' saft sate.
Rxb. 1924 Kelso Chron. (26 Dec.) 2/8:
One Monday evening all of them, barring Provost and Magistrates, had to cruik their haughs on mere wooden apologies, no better than the reporters' seats.
(b) Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian x.:
I hae often wondered that ony ane that ever bent a knee for the right purpose, should ever daur to crook a hough to fyke and fling at piper's wind and fiddler's squealing.
(3) Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
She crooks her elbow, a phrase used of a woman who uses too much freedom with the bottle, q[uasi] bending her elbow in reaching the drink to her mouth.
(4) (a) Bnff. 1908 in Bnffsh. Jnl. (17 Nov.) 5:
A ploughman rose up, and said, I dinna ken, sir, if onybody can dae better than that, but there's the lang goadsman o' Thornyhill, he may try it, for a better fusler never crookit a mou.
Ags. 1894 Arbroath Guide (6 Jan.) 4/4:
Afore I could crook my mou to say mair.
Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Poems (1925) 2:
Heh! Sandie, lad, what dool's come owr ye now, That you to whistle ne'er will crook your mou.
(b) Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
It is often said to a child: “Ye needna begin to crook your mou', for ye've nae cause for't.”
(c) Sc. 1724–27 Ramsay T. T. Misc. (1733) 86:
O kend my minny I were wi' you, Illfardly wad she crook her mou.
Abd. 1851 W. Anderson Rhymes, etc. 101:
Tho' she had ne'er sought to displace Another's laurels, Or crook'd her mou' and thrawn her face Wi' envious snarls.
(5) Ags. 1867 Arbroath Guide (22 June) 3/7:
Her blindit lovers come to see Their folly when it's past, An' syne they say, she'll hae to tak The crookit stick at last.
Edb. 1900 E. H. Strain Elmslie's Drag-Net 94:
They'll be sayin' you've ta'en up wi' the crookit stick at last.

[Cruke, crui(c)k, krui(c)k, etc., are found in O.Sc., in sense 1. of the n. from 1384, in sense 5. from c.1500–12 and in sense 1. of the v. from 1478; also the comb. cruik-saddel, 1557 (D.O.S.T.); O.N. krókr, a hook.]

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"Cruik n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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