SOME Scots words can have more than one meaning or may be applied to different things…
One such word is a ‘sneck’ usually given to a door-latch or small bolt used to secure a door. It is also sometimes used to describe snapping or biting at food or pilfering.
It is still in common usage among my circle of acquaintances who will say, “Mind an sneck the door!” How much more emphatic it sounds than, “Remember to close the door when you leave!”
Often in my adolescent years I was brought up short with the words, “Hey, sneck the door ahint yel” as I went off somewhat hastily to join some friends in a youthful ploy. Even my primary headmistress during the 1920’s used the word with her wayward pupils.
If we were pushed for time when having a meal we would be told we were “sneckin each bite,” meaning we were snapping at our food.
When my mother had baked some small cakes that I was very partial to I would be told not to ‘sneck ‘ any if I happened to be hanging around in a suspicious manner.
Another common use of the word ‘sneck’ was when it was used to describe a crafty, covetous person who by long practice had gained facility in obtaining what he or she wanted. Such a one was aptly called a ‘sneck-drawer’ a wonderfully descriptive phrase to apply to an objectionable individual of that kind!
So the word ‘sneck’, like many more auld Scots words, can be said to be ‘awfa haunny’ – or useful.Sign up to our Weekly newsletter