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.

RECK, v., n. Also Sc. forms rek (Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 64); raik; and misprint reek. Sc. usages:

I. v. 1. To reckon, consider.Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 114:
Coud e'er harbour a thought o' distrust. Or reck her shepherd unkind.
e.Lth. 1892 J. Lumsden Sheep-head 91:
O Ye wha reck our Scottish name Fit wi' the warld's first to ally.

2. impers. To matter, to be of importance. Obs. in Eng. Freq. in phr. what recks, what does (it) matter? See also fatrecks s.v. Fat, pron., 7.Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 194:
What recks tho' ye ken mood and tense?
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 98:
What reeks [sic] a sair shin, or a clipe o' a fa?
Sc. 1825 Scott Talisman iii.:
“But what recks it”, said stout Sir Kenneth.
ne.Sc. 1832 A. Beattie Poems 128:
But I shall tell you now, what raiks, How sadly ance she got her paiks.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xii.:
“Weel, I'm maist seer the minaister 'll be ill pleas't”, continued Peter. “An' fat raiks? It'll be lang ere ye be made fat aff o' him”
e.Lth. 1905 J. Lumsden Croonings 244:
What recks how ye sing, an' ye sing na back Willie!
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables xxi.:
What recks the dirdum o' yestreen?

II. n. In phr. what reck, what (does it) matter? See also foutrack s.v. Fat, pron., 7. and cf. v., 2. Often parenthetic.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 349:
What rake the Fead where the Friendship dow not. Signifying our Contempt of mean Persons, whose Hatred we defy, and whose Friendship we despise.
Ayr. 1792 Burns The Tither Morn i.:
When I, what reck, did least expect To see my lad sae near me.
Rxb. 1848 R. Davidson Leaves 22:
But oh, what reck! a moorlan' chiel . . . Wi' wicked tae tipp'd Tammie's heel.

[O.Sc. rek, to matter, 1599, quhat rak?, what matters it?, 1535.]

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

"Reck v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: