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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

HELLEK, n. Also helyack, hellyik (E.D.D.), heljack (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.); hejllik (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.); heilig, heilik, heelik. The simple form hell(y)a is common in place-names. [′hɛl(j)ək]

1. A large flat smooth rock or stone, sloping down to the seashore, which sometimes forms a natural quay (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928)); a coastline made up of such rocks (Sh. 1905 E.D.D. Suppl.); a large boulder in gen.Sh. 1877 G. Stewart Fireside Tales 4:
I'm been up an' doon ower dis heilik, an' roond aboot dis banks, fir da last tretty year o' my life.
Ib. 161:
He knew every stack and heilig, every “gio” and landing-place around the Ness.

2. Combs.: †(1) ta(a)hella, -ek (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)), -heelik, -hejlla (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.), a flat stone laid along the eaves of a house to keep out the rain or hold rafters in place [Norw. tag, O.N. þak, thatch, roof]; †(2) ufsahella, -ek, id. (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)) [Norw. dial. ufs, eaves].(1) Sh. 1949 J. Gray Lowrie 125:
Noo, what du's da boarn fule duu bit reck up an' mitten a taa heelik aff o' da waa-hed.

3. Phr.: a hellek o' frost, a thin sheet of ice on the ground (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)).

[Norw. dial., O.N. hella, a flat stone, tableland of rock + -ek, Sh. suff.]

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"Hellek n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jun 2024 <>



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