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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

PINK, n.1 Also peenk (Ork. 1949 “Lex” But-End Ballans 16). Sc. form and usages:

1. Gen. in dim. pinkie, the primrose (ne.Sc., Ags., Ayr. 1965). Also yalla-pinkie, id. (Abd. 1965). Also applied to cultivated plants of the primula family (Abd. 1965). Cf. Spinkie, id.Rnf. 1788 E. Picken Poems 138:
I gather't the pinkies an' roses.
Abd. 1836 J. Grant Ballads 259:
Ye may pu' the pink o' the bank.
Ayr. 1868 A. McKay Ingleside Lilts 35:
Cowslips, and pinkies, and daisies fu' bonnie.
Mry. 1887 W. H. L. Tester Poems 126:
Drappin on the pinky leaves.
Abd. 1924 L. Coutts Caul' Nor'-East 6:
The pinkies spangil a' the braes.
Bnff. 1963 Banffshire Jnl. (10 Dec.) 8:
In a corner were some stately orange tiger lilies and many pretty pink and yellow “pinks” — polyanthus we call them here in England.

2. The cuckoo-flower or lady's smock, Cardamine pratensis. Also in Nhb. dial.Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xi.:
Enough to make the pinks an' ewe gowan blush to the very lip.

3. Fig., as in Eng., the finest example of excellence, the “flower” of the bunch, the top of the tree. Hence by extension used adv. in phr. to speak pink, to adopt an affected, over-refined way of speech, to make an unsuccessful attempt at received English pronunciation (Kcd., Ags., Fif. 1965). Cf. U.S. colloq. or slang pink, = smart, “posh”, “out of the top drawer,” “swell”, and see Dichty Water, Kelvinside, Morningside, Pan, I. 1. (13), Peerie, Princes Street, id.

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"Pink n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 May 2024 <>



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