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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TOUK, v.1, n.1 Also took, touck, tow(c)k, tuik, teuk, tuke, tuck. [tuk]

I. v. tr. To beat or bang (a drum); intr. of a drum: to sound, to beat. Now obs. By extension, of the wind: to blow in strong gusts, to boom, roar. Ppl.adj. teukin, of the wind: variable, veering in gusts (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also in Eng. dial.; also given as “quarrelsome, troublesome” (s.Sc. 1808 Jam. but this may be a mistake for tuilyin, see Tuilyie, or a different word of obscure orig.Ags. 1833 Chambers's Jnl. (May) 136:
I have wondered full oft, as it tookit and blew, If ever its sughing was eerie to you.
Rxb. 1951:
A toukin wind — a wind blowing by fits and starts, making it difficult to sow seed, esp. of April winds.

II. n. The beat or tap of a drum, esp. in phr. by tuck of drum, of a proclamation made by a public crier with his drum. Now liter. or hist. and fig.Peb. 1700 Burgh Rec. Peebles (B.R.S.) 163:
To be put in the thiefes holl, till he be banished by tuik of drum.
Gsw. 1728 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (B.R.S.) 308:
To be publicly intimate by towck of drum.
ne.Sc. 1746 Origins Forty-Five (S.H.S.) 136:
Intimation was made by Tuke of Drum.
Fif. 1798 R. Flockhart Sketch 12:
They gather'd all into a crowd, Which was warn'd out by tuck of drum.
Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xliii.:
A recruit that is marching for the first time to the took of drum.
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie viii.:
A' the racers show off their best paces, At tuck o' wee Tam an' his drum.
Sc. 1878 Stevenson Inland Voyages 85:
Wherever death sounds his own potent tuck upon the cannons.
Kcb. 1894 Crockett Raiders xiv.:
The companies are marching to the tuck of drum.

[Obs. in Eng. since Mid.Eng. O.Sc. touk, to beat, 1580, a thump, blow, 1612, towke, to beat a drum, 1621, O. North. Fr. toker, to strike, It. toccare, id., ultim. of the same orig. as touch.]

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"Touk v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Apr 2024 <>



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