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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

WICK, n.1, v.1 Also wik(e), week, weik, wiek. In sense I. 1. gen in pl. [wɪk, wik]

I. n. 1. A corner (of the mouth), the angle between the upper and lower lip (Cai. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 VIII. 162; Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., wik; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., week; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 275; Ork. 1929 Marw., week; I., n., m.Sc., Rxb. 1974); in 1820 quot. transf. of a doorway. Also in n.Eng. dial. Deriv. weekins, id. (Marw.; I.Sc. 1974). See -In(g), suff., 2.Sc. 1729 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) III. 107:
Plucking out all [hair] that look'd like Youth, Frae Crown of Head, to Weeks of Mouth.
Per. 1816 J. Duff Poems 103:
Whate'er he thought he didna speak, But fidg'd an' sighin', scratch'd his wiek.
Rxb. 1845 T. Aird Old Bachelor 172:
The school-boy caring not how much the downy seeds may canker and chap the wicks of his mouth.
Ags. c.1860 A. B. Dalgetty Liff (1940) 61:
While at her mou' weiks, curds o' froth Hung as the symbols o' her wroth.
Lnk. 1893 J. Crawford Verses 39:
Strong drink never weetit the weeks o' his mou.
Kcb. 1904 Crockett Strong Mac xiv.:
A trickle of gravy browning the wicks of their mouths.
Abd. 1923 R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert 15:
A gray, dwaumie leuk spread doon fae his een oot-ower his cheeks, an' garrt the wicks o' his mou' grow drawn an' ticht.
Ork. 1956 C. M. Costie Benjie's Bodle 186:
Her weekeens wir wirkan as if sheu wad greet the next meenit.
Sh. 1957 Sh. Folk-Bk. III. 56:
The wiks of the horse's mouth.
Cai. 1960 Edb. John o' Groat Liter. Soc. 30:
He jammed it in his mooth an' started chewin' till eventually 'e tattie began till come oot at his wicks.

Combs. and phr.: (1) to hing by the weiks of the mouth, to hold on to something with grim determination as long as one can (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Now arch.; (2) wick bane, the bone at the side of a fish's mouth; (3) wick-burn, a brand as a mark of ownership at the corner of a sheep's mouth; (4) week teeth, wike-, the canine or eye teeth.(1) Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 217:
I wish he and I had a Peck of Gold to deal, there should be scarted backs of Hands, and hinging by the wicks of the Mouth.
s.Sc. 1897 E. Hamilton Outlaws xxi.:
He'll just hang by the weiks o' the moo to Tinnisburn.
(2) s.Sc. 1843 W. Scrope Salmon Fishing 139:
He was firm heuckit, in the teughest part o' the body, at the outside o' the edge o' the wick bane.
(3) Kcb. 1880 J. H. Maxwell Sheep-Marks 1:
Back nip on near ear, stabbed on far; far wick burn.
(4) Sc. 1726 A. Monro Anat. Bones 171:
The Two inferior [canini] are named angular or Wike-teeth, because they support the Angles of the Mouth.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (20 Aug.):
Dere's ane o' his week teeth apo' da green.

2. The corner of the eye (Sc. 1808 Jam.; ‡Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Slk. 1818 Hogg Tales (1874) 224:
[He] now and then cast a sly look-out at the wick of his eye.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xi.:
A wheen tears sprang up in secret i' the wicks o' my een.
Cai. 1872 M. MacLennan Peasant Life 208:
Whan I seed ye wi' the wick o' ma e'e.

3. In Curling, Bowls or Carpet Bowls: a shot in which a stone or bowl is aimed at another so that one or other is deflected at an angle towards the tee, a cannon. Gen.Sc. Combs. inner and outer wick. See Inwick, Outwick.Dmf. 1823 J. Kennedy Poems 29:
Their outer, and their inner wicks, And witter shot.
Dmb. 1835 D. MacLeod Past Worthies (1894) 87:
I am to take all the wicks or kittle shots, and kiggle-kaggle to and fro, and that to a hair's breadth.
Lnk. 1853 W. Watson Poems 64:
Now, John, do ye see a' the winner, If no, tak this wick at my cowe.
Per. 1897 D. MacTavish Witch of Monzie 42:
Wi' draws, an' guards, an' wicks, an' guns.
Lnk. 1951 G. Rae Howe o' Braefoot 12:
A week aff the minister's stane will rin ye tae the winner.

4. A cleft in the face of a hill, in the place-name Wicks o Baiglie on the north-eastern spur of the Ochils on the old road from Kinross to Perth.Sc. 1828 Scott F. M. Perth i.:
One of the most beautiful points of view . . . was a spot called the Wicks of Baiglie, being a species of niche at which the traveller arrived . . . and from which, as forming a pass over the summit of a ridgy eminence which he had gradually surmounted, he beheld, stretching beneath him, the valley of the Tay.
Per. 1891 H. Haliburton Ochil Idylls 132:
The peacefu' days o' deep content, Up on the Wicks o' Baiglie.

II. v., tr and intr. To strike (a curling stone or bowl) as in I. 3. above, to cannon one stone off another, to (attempt to) reach the tee by this means (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Also in freq. form wicker. Vbl.n. wicking. Phr. to wick a bore or post, to carry out this manoeuvre through a narrow passage between already-played stones (Sc. 1825 Jam., 1891 Royal Caled. Curling Club Annual 376); to wick and curl in, one of the prescribed shots in the points game in curling (see 1842 quot.).Lnk. 1771 Weekly Mag. (7 Feb.) 180:
Or teach The undisciplin'd how to wick, to guard, Or ride full out the stane that blocks the pass.
Ayr. 1786 Burns T. Samson's Elegy v.:
To guard, or draw, or wick a bore, Or up the rink like Jehu roar.
Sc. 1811 J. Ramsay Curling 9:
Sometimes the stone nearest the tee, which is called the winner, is so guarded that there is no possibility of getting at it directly. It then becomes necessary, in order to get it removed, to strike another stone lying at the side, in an oblique direction. This is called wicking, and is one of the nicest parts of the game.
Ayr. 1828 D. Wood Poems 67:
A strait in-ring — in faith he'll wicker — Set on the tee.
Sc. 1842 Grand Caled. Curling Club Ann. 17:
Wick and Curl in. A stone is placed with its inner edge 7 feet distant from the tee, and its centre on a line making an angle of 45° with the central line, the stone played to hit on this stone, and rest within the circle.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 20:
They draw, an' guard, an' wick, an' strike.
Per. 1893 R. M. Fergusson My Village 156:
He'd wick and curl in as neatly as ye like.

[O.Sc. to hing by the wicks, 1648, Mid.Eng. wyke, = I. 1. Of Scand. orig. For I. cf. O.N. vík in munnvík, the corner of the mouth, for II., O.N. vikja, to turn, make something go sideways, Norw. vik(j)a, to bend, cause to turn sideways.]

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"Wick n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jun 2024 <>



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