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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Obsolete form of whelk.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See whelk.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dialectal form of whelk.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Great excerpt, Bilby! I hadn't known about spoots as a name for razor-shells. A typo: "Nucela" should be Nucella.

    January 12, 2008

  • "Gathering 'wilks' as Orcadians call the Edible Periwinkle, Littorina littorea (not to be confused with the Dog Whelk, Nucela lapillus, or Common Whelk, buccinum undatum) has an ancient traditional history in Orkney.
    In later centuries in times of famine, wilks, mussels and spoots (razor-shells) were sought out in desperation by starving islanders.
    Nowadays wilking is mostly a seasonal occupation - usually from February to May, though sometimes lasting into summer.
    Wilk tides are one of the few signs of spring in Orkney. Instead of sparkling sunlight, crocuses and catkins, the wind screams from the southeast and haar shrouds everything in grey murk.
    Dotted around, armed with net sacks and fertiliser bags, wilkers are busy. Wrapped up for all weathers, some are woolly-hatted and welly-booted, others wear oilskins in bright flourescent colours."
    - 'Harvest Of The Sea', Matt Bain in The Scots Magazine, March 2000.

    January 12, 2008

  • Not to be confused with the word welkin, whose meaning I just learned, and doesn't have anything obvious to do with the phrase make the welkin ring.

    January 11, 2008

  • Wow. I never knew it was spelled wilk or welk. I always saw it as whelk, a word I adore.

    January 11, 2008

  • Wilk and welk are both variants of whelk, which is applied to a large variety of species around the world, ranging from periwinkles (2-3 cm) to the lightning whelk, which can reach 40 cm.

    January 11, 2008

  • Are you speaking of the shell or the flower? If it's the shell, I wonder if it's related to welk?

    I bet mollusque would know that...

    January 11, 2008

  • Scots (Orkney) - periwinkle.

    January 11, 2008