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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PAWK, n., v. Also pauk (Jam.). Cf. Pawkie, adj. [pǫ:k]

I. n. A trick, ruse, stratagem; a wile, blandishment (Sc. 1808 Jam.).w.Lth. 1768 W. Wilkie Fables 118:
Pawks and wiles, whar pith is wantin.
m.Lth. 1811 H. MacNeill Bygane Times 18:
Nor kens the gate wi' saftening sound, And pawks, to bring ilk project round.

Hence pawk(e)ry, pawkrie, trickery, slyness (Sc. 1825 Jam.). See also joukery-pawkery s.v. Joukerie.Slk. 1820 Hogg Tales (1874) 109:
Onye sikkan wylld sneckdrawing and pawkerye.
Ayr. 1828 Galt R. Gilhaize II. xxi.:
He was sib to herself, had a spice of her pawkrie.

II. v., intr. To joke, clown, act in a mischievous, light-hearted way. Hence vbl.n. pawkin, mischief, drollery, fun, clowning.Sc. 1886 Mod. Sc. Poets (Edwards) IX. 72:
His mither's heart cheer'd wi' his pawkin' an' glee.

[O.Sc. pauk, 1513, palk, 1535. Orig. obscure. Found in n.Eng. dial. in the sense of impudence, cheek.]

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"Pawk n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Oct 2023 <>



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