More on Jock = a Scotsman

Robin Hamilton robin.hamilton2 at BTINTERNET.COM
Mon Feb 1 09:46:49 UTC 2010

As the definition for "Jock" in Grose2 in 1788 is "north-country seaman",
and as late as Egan in 1823, following on the 1811 edition  of Grose, it's
still linked to "the lower order of the people in Northumberland [sic]," it
looks as if at this stage, "Jock" was less a generic appellation for a
Scotsman than a term applied to inhabitants of the north of England and the
south of Scotland -- what were once the Debatable Lands.

The ballad "Jock o' the Syde" is set there.

So we're left with the question as to when "Jock" becomes linked to Scotsmen
generally, rather than specifically the border clans (if it was).  It seems
to be travelling north as time goes by, ending up, to extend Jon's
observation that <"Jock" was not often pluralized till WWI, when it was
applied especially to members of Highland regiments>, right in the middle of
the Gaeltacht.


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