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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SKELLOCH, n.2 Also -ach, skelich, scallach, -ock, skilloch; skillock, scilloc, skellock; skellag, skeollag, skiollag, skyollag, skoylack (Cai.), misprinted shiolag, reduced dim. forms skellie, scalie; ¶scaller (Edb. 1806 Gazetteer Scot. 163); and altered forms skeldick, -dock, -dach, sceldrick, skeldric, scaldrick. [′skɛləx, ′skɛle]

1. Freq. in pl.: the charlock or wild mustard, Brassica arvensis (m.Lth. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 I. 217, scaldricks; s.Sc. 1802 J. Sibbald Chron. Sc. Poetry Gl.; Arg. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VII. 339, scilloc; Slg. 1888 B. and H., scallock; Fif. 1898 Proc. Philosoph. Soc. Gsw. XXX. 51, skellocks; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 266, skelloch, skellie; Arg. 1936 L. McInnes S. Kintyre 12, scallach; Cai. (skyolag), ne.Sc. (skelloch), Ags. (skellie), Per. (skell(d)ach), Fif. (skellock), Slg., em.Sc.(b), Arg., Lnk. 1970). In 1917 quot. the reference is to the seed of the charlock.Abd. 1735 J. Arbuthnot Bch. Farmers (1811) 18:
By small weeds is meant, yarrs, skellachs, gule, and others.
Sc. 1747 R. Maxwell Bee-master 71:
There are two sorts of wild mustard, the one commonly called Skeldocks, the other Runches.
Edb. 1801 H. MacNeill Poet. Wks. I. 15:
The skelloch bright 'mang corn sae green.
Cai. 1812 J. Henderson Agric. Cai. 93:
The crop is choaked with shiolag [sic] and other weeds.
Clc. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VIII. 29:
The wild mustard, which they name skelloch.
Bwk. 1908 A. Thomson Coldingham 285:
Charlock (Sinapis arvensis), also known as “Wild Mustard,” “Runches,” and“Skellies.”
Rnf. 1917 Thistle IX. 95:
A small piece of black husk in the meal was called a skilloch.
Abd. 1946 J. C. Milne Orra Loon 7:
Like the buttercups that growe On the roadside up by Hilly's or the skellach in the howe.
wm.Sc. 1947 H. Reid Soiree Crackers I. 40:
He stood, hert-alane, 'mang the graves and the shilloch [sic].
Cai. 1961 Edb. John o' Groat Liter. Soc. 5:
Dockans, skeollag, carran, an' purrs.
Ags. 1965 Dundee Courier (25 Sept.) 8:
The weed that can turn the whole surface of an oat field yellow with “scalies”.

2. The wild radish, Raphanus raphanistrum (s.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Cai. 1904 E.D.D.).m.Lth. 1793 G. Robertson Agric. m.Lth. 80:
The skeldrick, in all its varieties, of wild radish, wild mustard, &c.

3. The cuckoo-flower or bitter cress, Cardamine pratensis (Ork. 1960 R. Rendall Ork. Shore 30).

[O.Sc. skaldocks, ? = 2., 1673, skellach 1683. Orig. doubtful and confused. Mid.Eng. has the synonymous kedlock, later dial. kellock, poss. from O.E. cedelc, herb mercury. This word may have been borrowed into Gael. as sgeallag, Ir. sceallagach, id., with prothetic s- and reborrowed by Sc.]

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"Skelloch n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Jun 2024 <>



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