Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Killick


I've seen killicks, the odd time, scattered in sheds, lost in the grass, tied to a lobster pot. Some who still use them swear by them as handy and quickly made anchors.

Here is the definition from the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:


killick n also keel-log, kellock, keylock*. G. Pulman, Rambles, Roamings, and Recollections (London, 1870) p. 135 kellick 'local name [in Lyme Regis, Do] for the stone used as an anchor for fishing boats'; Anglo-Manx Dialect 98 'In oul' times the boat would be anchored with a wooden kellagh that had a big stone in it to sink it'; AND kellick (1867-1962); Burton Bradstock, Do 'large stone picked off the beach used as an anchor'(P 304-90).
1 1680 CO 1/45 (68i), 252, v 'They launcht a new shalloway from the Adm[ira]lls place & put the rest of theire provisions into her & moord her with 2 keylocks.' 1688 CO 1/22, 66 [The English fishermen upon the ledges] for feare of being surprized (not then knoweing what the shipp really was) weighed their killicks and came into harbour. 1832 MOSS MS Diary 20 Apr Capt. Frederick and myself walked down to the Killick stand. 1836 WIX 82 We came to ice, at the edge of which persons were engaged in boats, fastened to the ice by keel-logs, catching codfish. 1981 SPARKES xv Then 'kellock' or 'killick'...was a simple, home-made anchor for nets and, sometimes, for small punts. 1983 Gazetteer of Undersea Feature Names 104, 105 Kellick Shoal, Killick Ledge, Killock Shoal. 1987 O'FLAHERTY 50 At Ferryland he was given a large replica of a killick, made by a local craftsman, to take back to St John's.


You can see that the word was born of the Anglo-Manx Dialect. And I note there is a reference to Kellagh in the definition. And that made me pause. I've no idea of the origination of the name of the town of Killeagh, in East Cork, Ireland, but the similarity is striking. Digging around in the muck of the interwebz I come up with this:

Killeagh (Cill Ia) Cork. ‘Church of Ia’.


Churches and rocks! For upon this rock....etc! Good enough a connection for me.

I go through Killeagh most times when I am back in Ireland and visit the land of my forebears in East Cork. For here, 70 years ago this year, is the church where my parents were married.

Today's post brought to you by the letter K from The Dictionary of Newfoundland English in partnership with the rest of the alphabet beginning here.

16 comments:

  1. Interesting! I wondered if the surname Kellogg (of corn flakes fame) might be connected. Searched a while but don't think so. The surname seems to have ancient Scottish links, and some Irish too though.

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  2. Always learn something from blogs. The sketch is perfect, people are so resourceful, using what they see around them. Ha. . .an idea for a story!

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  3. Some days I need a killick to keep me grounded!

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  4. Very ingenious. And I see that you weigh a killick just as you weigh an anchor. I think like Grannymar I could do with a psychological killick to stop me drifting too far into my inner world.

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  5. Very interesting... this is a unique blog.

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  6. Very interesting. I never heard of that, and the drawing is great. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs thins month.

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  7. T:
    It's a wonderful word, and its origins lost in the mists of time.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. Loverofwords:
    Yes, thanks for visiting!
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Nick:
    And the killick is a work of art, I must pick up one and put it on my front lawn to remind me to stay focussed!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. SB:
    Well thanks for visiting mine!
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Killick is a very familiar word in India for people of my generation and those before that. Killick Nixon (http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=20385265) a very old colonial mercantile house changed hands when the British owners decided to leave India after independence. It was a grand name with many famous box wallahs coming out of it.

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  12. I sure look forward to these educational postings of yours WWW

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  13. Ramana:

    Well I'll be - I guess the name coming from solid as an anchor?

    Now what on earth are "box wallahs"?

    XO
    WWW

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  14. GFB:
    Thank you!
    I look forward to them myself!
    XO
    WWW

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