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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FINNOCK, n. Also finnack, -eck, -oc(h); phinnick, phin(n)oc(k). The immature sea-trout, Salmo trutta, often confused with a young salmon (n.Sc. (exc. Cai.), em.Sc.(a), Arg. 1950).Sc. 1726 W. McFarlane Geog. Coll. (S.H.S.) I. 239:
They are about the bigness of ordinary trouts and commonly are called ffinnacks.
Sc. 1777 J. Lightfoot Flora Scotica I. 60:
A Grey fish, of the salmon kind, . . . comes up several of the rivers in Scotland in vast shoals during the month of August: they return to the sea in November; are called Phinocs.
Inv. 1833 A. Fraser Nat. Hist. Salmon 39:
The Whitling, Whiting, or Herling is the same fish as that known in this country by the name of Finnock.
Bnff. 1900 Banffshire Jnl. (5 June) 8:
What are known among sea-trout as finnocks, at the mouths of our East Coast rivers, in April, May, etc. are the grilse of the sea-trout, which went down the previous year as smolts.
Abd. 1926 L. Coutts Lyrics 3:
Thir's nae finnoch in the Don.
Bnff. 1936 Strathspey Herald (22 June) 3:
Witness (official of the Salmon Fisheries Board for Scotland) stated that a fish was a finnock for about 9 months before it had lived one complete year in the sea. After that it was a sea trout.

[O.Sc. fynnak, a young salmon, 1607, Gael. fionnag, id., a white trout.]

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"Finnock n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2023 <>



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