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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HANK, n.2 Also (ha)ank; and erron. hag (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 44).

1. The place on each side of a boat where the side-boards come together at the stem or the stern, the quarter, gen. in pl. or compounded with fore or aft (eft(er)) (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., aft-hanks, 1908 Jak. (1928), (efter-), (fore-) hank(s); Ork. 1929 Marw., efter-, fore-; Sh. 1956); the stem or stern compartment of a boat (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)); “the place in the stern of the boat where the steersman's feet rest” (Rs. (Avoch) 1911 per Mry.2, (h)ank). Also used attrib.Sh. 1899 Shetland News (3 June):
He laid da peerie taft across da haanks o' da fower[er]een, an' set him [it] up.
Ib. (4 Feb.):
I see da black lump o' da boat noo. Shü's juist baerin' apo' wir haank yonder.
Sh. 1902 E.D.D.:
“Takkin' her up in hank,” pulling strongly on the leeside to lie nearer the line.
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
Commonly in the plural hanks, because there is a hank on each side: “Eft hanks,” “Fore hanks.”
Mry. 1914 Trans. Bnff. Field Club 24:
There were the hank baak, the pump baak or midship baak, the byock baak, and the head-steel.

2. A rower seated in the stern of an open boat immediately in front of the helmsman. Hence hank(oar)sman, id. (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. Add. 75, hank-oarsman; Mry.1 c.1925, hanksman).Bnff. 1886 Folk-Lore Jnl. IV. 11:
Counting from the stem [read stern], the first man on the left is called “the aivran hank,” or “hanksman,” whilst his companion on the right is called “the farran hank,” or “hanksman.”
Mry.1 1928:
The faran hanksman was the aftmost oar and had a turn on the main halyards. The faran midshipman rowed the mid oar and turned the ballast. The faran byocksman rowed the foremost oar and worked the sprit.

[O.Sc. hank, a.1605 = 1. Of same origin as Hank, n.1, from O.N. hanki, an eye or ring on the edge of a sail or on the side of a boat, used in transferred sense for that part of the boat to which such a ring was fitted.]

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"Hank n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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