Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

RACK, n.3, v.2

I. n. 1. A heavy blow, a crash (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis; Cld. 1880 Jam.). Obs. in Eng.

2. As in Eng., flying clouds in the upper air, hence adj. racky, stormy, of clouds (Mry., Bnff. 1967); driving mist or fog (Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis; Mry., Bnff., Ags., m.Lth. 1967), obs. in Eng.Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 86:
Like rack that creeps the burn at even.

3. The restless, driving movement of the waves; sea-foam (Uls. 1953 Traynor).Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 207:
The rack and ride o' the restless tide, An' the splash o' the grey sea-maw.

II. v. 1. To beat, belabour. Rare or nonce. Cf. I. 1.Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 243:
Hae they rack'd wi' rungs, or skittled wi' steel Or, Tammy my man hae ye seen the deil?

2. Of clouds: to fly before the wind, to clear away. Obs. in Eng. in 17th c. Ppl.adj. racking, of clouds: flying before the wind; of wind: driving, forceful (Per., Slk. 1967).Sc. 1812 Scott Rokeby i. i.:
Racking o'er her [the Moon's] face, the cloud Varies the tincture of her shroud.
Ayr. 1822 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 156:
Gif the win had na faun an' the cluds rackit, I cou'd hae cram'd a kist wi' them afore dark.
Sc. 1834 M. Scott T. Cringle's Log ii.:
A thin fleecy shred of cloud racking across the moon's disk.
Sc. 1840 Carlyle Heroes iii.:
The racking winds . . . whirl them away again.

3. With up, of weather: to clear (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Per., Fif., m.Lth., Lnk., Ayr., Rxb. 1967).Lnk. 1862 W. Hunter Biggar 135:
As there's nae appearance of the wather rackin' up, I was thinkin' about stayin' at hame.
Fif. 1921 T.S.D.C. IV. 20:
“Is'd gaun to rack up, John?” “Na, na, owre mony piz-wunlins aboot.”

[O.Sc. rak, a crash, blow, 1420, driving mist or fog, 1513; Mid.Eng. rack, id. Cf. Norw. dial rak, wreckage, refuse, cognate with Wrack, wreck.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Rack n.3, v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 Apr 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: