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the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?

greg stephens 23 Aug 03 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester 23 Aug 03 - 03:17 AM
Zany Mouse 23 Aug 03 - 03:36 AM
okthen 23 Aug 03 - 03:45 AM
greg stephens 23 Aug 03 - 04:07 AM
Fiolar 23 Aug 03 - 06:05 AM
Jim McLean 23 Aug 03 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 23 Aug 03 - 07:30 AM
C-flat 23 Aug 03 - 07:46 AM
Jim McLean 23 Aug 03 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,guest 23 Aug 03 - 09:05 AM
Reiver 2 23 Aug 03 - 01:22 PM
Geoff the Duck 23 Aug 03 - 01:45 PM
GUEST 23 Aug 03 - 02:41 PM
HuwG 23 Aug 03 - 03:15 PM
Noreen 27 Aug 03 - 06:27 PM
GUEST,Phil 27 Aug 03 - 07:58 PM
Banjo-Flower 27 Aug 03 - 07:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Aug 03 - 08:01 PM
Ian 28 Aug 03 - 03:46 AM
Mr Happy 28 Aug 03 - 05:06 AM
greg stephens 28 Aug 03 - 07:04 AM
Watson 28 Aug 03 - 07:09 AM
Phillip 28 Aug 03 - 11:40 AM
Emma B 28 Aug 03 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 28 Aug 03 - 06:17 PM
greg stephens 28 Aug 03 - 06:25 PM
Snuffy 29 Aug 03 - 03:43 AM
AKS 29 Aug 03 - 04:38 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Aug 03 - 01:32 PM
lady penelope 29 Aug 03 - 07:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Aug 03 - 08:53 PM
Billy the Bus 29 Aug 03 - 08:57 PM
yrlancslad 29 Aug 03 - 09:00 PM
GUEST,Dave Roberts, Salt Town Poets 04 Sep 03 - 05:14 PM
Watson 05 Sep 03 - 06:05 AM
Teribus 05 Sep 03 - 08:34 AM
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Subject: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:07 AM

Where do people use the word ruck/rook meaning "a lot".as in "there were a whole ruck of people outside the pub". I was unfamiliar with it all the years I was in north Lancashire, and didnt hear it used generally till I moved to south Cheshire and north Staffs. Now I'm reading a great book about musicians by Vikram Seth, and he puts the word into the mouth of a man from Rochdale. It struck me as odd, but I dont know Rochdale very well.
    So, is it in use in your part of the world,anyone? i want to get an impression of its geographical spread.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton, Manchester
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:17 AM

Is it a rugby (football) word for a a number of players fighting over the ball? I know all of rugby is such but .......


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:36 AM

I am from the West Riding of Yorkshire and in my area (Wombwell-ish) a ruck meant a mild fight. For example "a drunken ruck", meaning a drunken brawl. A sort of fight, but not serious, which usually involved quite a few people. I heard it quite often at Barnsley football matches! Does that help?

ZM


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: okthen
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:45 AM

My Collins dictionary gives one definition as "ordinary people,often in a crowd"


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 04:07 AM

Ruck meaning a scrum in Rugby or a mob having a fight is a slightly different usage to what I am talking about. It's the same word OK, meaning a pile or heap or something: I'm looking for the use of the word meaning a lot: there was a ruck of folk at the party. Not implying fighting or a melee particularly, just a lot of them. It's definitely used like this in south Cheshire and Stoke, but I want to know if Vikram Seth was right to use it in that sense for a Rochdale person.
   A shard-ruck, in Stoke(pronounced more like shord-rook), is the heap of broken pottery beside a pot-bank, incidentally,


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Fiolar
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 06:05 AM

According to the "Dictionary of Archaic Words" "ruck" has several meanings but in the context of people it is given as "a heap" and also to "gather together." It is also given as "to huddle together" which would explain its Rugby connection. It is credited to Michael Drayton (1563 - 1631) who was a poet born in Warwickshire.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 07:04 AM

The Concise Scots Dictionary for ruck: A hay- or cornstack, a stack or heap as in a ruck of peats (a lot? of peats piled up).


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 07:30 AM

In Dublin, a "rucky-up" meant a general melee or schemozzle, often outside a pub. Haven't heard it used for many years.

Regards


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: C-flat
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 07:46 AM

I've heard the word "rake" used in the North-East UK to mean a lot of something, "There was a rake of them there", but a "ruck" is usually used to mean a fight, as from the rugby term.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 08:45 AM

I've heard Irishmen talking about a rake of beer and how about ruction, a commotion or row?


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 09:05 AM

I always wondered whether rake of beer meant a mountain of beer as in The Rake (Croagh Patrick mountain in Mayo) or the Macgillacuddy Reeks in Kerry. For my father ,from Mayo ,a rake always implied a pile of something - a rake of money ,a rake of children etc ,so Jim's theorey could well be true.I'd say there would have been no shortage of t'Irish in Lancashire.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Reiver 2
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 01:22 PM

The Britannica Dictionary has this entry (from Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary:

The Encyc. Britannica Dictionary has this entry taken from the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary;

ruck n [ME, of Scand origin; akin to ON hraukr rick--more at rick] (15c) 1 a: the usual run of persons or things: generality, "trying to rise above the... b: an indistinguishable gathering: jumble 2: the persons or things following the vanguard, "finished the race in the....

ruck vb [ruck, n., wrinkle] (1812): pucker, wrinkle

Not much help, I'm afraid, and doesn't address your question... but it does give a basis for use in regard to groups of people.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 01:45 PM

Usage in Bradford was definitely a scuffle or fight rather than just a bunch of people.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 02:41 PM

I think it may be rook rather than ruck. As in the bird of which is said "A Rook on its own is a Crow and a Crow in a crowd is a Rook".

The rook is a very social bird and often seen in huge flocks. I always guessed that a 'rook of people' just meant a big crowd. I have been known to be wrong.

But not very often...;-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: HuwG
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:15 PM

In strict Rubgy (Union) terminology, a "ruck" or "loose scrum" is a contest for a ball which is on the ground in loose play, where players are bound on to each other. The players are supposed to get the ball back out using their feet only. (This differs from the set-piece scrum which is awarded after an infringement, in that a "ruck" usually forms when a player is tackled and brought to ground).

A loose scrum in which the ball is not actually on the ground is a "maul". This usually occurs where a player is tackled and held but not brought down. In this case, he will try to turn round and pass the ball backwards hand-to-hand; his own forwards will try and aid him while the opposition will try and snatch the ball away.

Off the Rugby field, "ruck" may will mean much the same as "brawl", but as with most posters here, I have heard it used all over Britain to mean "disorganised pack of people".


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Noreen
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 06:27 PM

Hi greg, I've never heard it used to mean a lot, here in Bury (pretty near Rochdale) so I'd guess Mr Seth is stretching it a bit.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 07:58 PM

In Australian Rules Football, ruckmen are in the centre of play when the ball is brought back in after a goal is scored or the ball goes out of bounds. The play often looks like a loose rugby scrum or a mellee.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 07:58 PM

In North Lincolnshire in the plate rolling mills on the steelworks the man who sorted the finished plates into piles ready for despatch was known as a Rucker& the piles of plates rucks

Gerry


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Aug 03 - 08:01 PM

Ruck has many meanings, including all of the above.
See OED.
ruck- a multitude, a crowd. Found in print from 1581. OED 3b.
ruck- to squat, huddle together. Chaucer, 1386 and earlier. 1582- "That happlye rouke in studente mewes."

One common meaning is in a group- "in one group." OED, 4a.
Wallace, 1922- "Its jockey had given up all attempt at winning and was content to finish with the ruck.
Mark Twain, 1865- "Flowers and general ruck sent to him by every Tom, Dick and Harry from everywhere."
Others-
ruck- to rumple, wrinkle.
ruck- to reprimand, to tell off.
ruck- the jumble in a rucksack.
ruck- to inform on.
ruck- a heap or stack of fuel. Mentioned already, this meaning in print in 1225.
ruck- a particular measure of coal. (no longer used)
ruck- a rick or stack of hay, corn, etc. (Sc. and Northern).
ruck- a rut or a ditch.
ruck- a ridge.
ruck- a flourish of penmanship (Dictionary Laws of Scotland)

etc., etc.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Ian
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 03:46 AM

Being a Stoke youth as well I know ruck as both a group and a hay ruck (haystack)see Q.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 05:06 AM

a colleague from halifax, when going for a pint, often describes this action as 'going for a rake of ale'.

the word ruck for haystack seems like a variant of 'rick' as in 'hayrick'


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 07:04 AM

All of these words seem to have the same Indo-European root. Rock, crag, rook(as in castle in chess) are other examples.Carrick place-names in Ireland also. But coming back to the original question, I still have the impression that Vikram Seth was wrong in using "a ruck of people" as Rochdale dialect. I reckon Crewe or Stoke is more like it. But nobody's written in from the Birmingham area. What does the word mean south of Stoke...anyone got any information?


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Watson
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 07:09 AM

Although I'd know what someone meant if they used ruck in that context, I've seldom heard it used in the Black Country.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Phillip
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 11:40 AM

The idea of this use of the word being to do with the bird "rook" is a bit wide of the mark, I think, because of local pronunciation. I would pronounce rook with a long vowel, but ruck with a completely different short vowel.

I'm from Tyldesley in SE Lancs and have never heard ruck to mean anything other than a fight, or the Rugby meaning.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 01:36 PM

I was born and raised in Crewe (well someone has to be!) but I've never heard ruck used in any other context than 'rucked-up' meaning badly creased/jumbled etc ie the bed clothes were all rucked up.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 06:17 PM

By way of thread creep....

How common is the use of "mill" for fight these days?

Regards


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Aug 03 - 06:25 PM

EmmaB: the particular usage I'm referring to I've only ever heard in the Crewe/Stoke area, but I wouldnt say it's common. Maybe the only people who say it in Crewe are incomers from Stoke.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 03:43 AM

I only heard "milling" used when I was in the army.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: AKS
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 04:38 AM

Well, about the geographical spread, Greg: the word (ruko) is commonly known here in Finland in the 'haycock' 'heap' (and likes) meanings, but certain people (I included) would not hesitate to use it of people - esp of some formations on the rugby 'field'.

AKS

ps etymologists say it is an oldish loanword from Germanic / Scandinavian languages


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 01:32 PM

Adding to AKs, above-
Ruck can be traced to Scandanavian-Norwegian-Old Norse ruka-hruka, with many of the same meanings (OED).
Many spellings in the past, including rook, rooke, ruke, roka, rowke, ruk, etc., etc.
Rook mostly is associated with the meaning, to crouch, to huddle together. Norwegian dialect ruka, to crouch.
Old Norse hrukka = wrinkle or ridge.

More in the OED, but this is getting too pedantic. Local meanings can be pretty specific.

As would be expected, meanings in America are more limited. Webster's Collegiate: 1a The usual run of persons or things. Jumble. 2 The group following the leaders.
Also used for a pucker or a wrinkle. In the States, this might be from the French ruche- pleated or gathered, etc.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: lady penelope
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 07:01 PM

Mill - milling about - from melee ( can't do the accent thingee)

I've always know ruck from deer mating, the stags are in rut or are rucking for supreme position.

I've always known ruck as a term for fighting.

A rake was the same as a winnow ( this is going to vary all over the place) it was used as a measure as well as an action.

Lady P.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 08:53 PM

Ruck- To belch. From the Latin (OED).
Ruck- to fight, argue, etc. Perhaps from ruction or ruckus, or ruck (criminal sense). Not an old usage.
ruck- to chew someone out (also rux).


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 08:57 PM

Colonial New Zealand inherited our "Anglo" vocabulary in the 1800s. Rather surprisingly, considering our late 'Colonisation' and small population, regional word-usage still survives to a limited extent. At one time or another, over the past 60 years, I've heard the word "Ruck" used in all the above contexts, and with the same variations in "twang". Greg, 50 years back, "Ruck = Crowd" was relatively common here. Now, for some reason, the Rugby definition has taken over.

Cheers - Sam in NZ (who hasn't watched Rugby since it went 'professional'}


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: yrlancslad
Date: 29 Aug 03 - 09:00 PM

Hi Greg only ruck I know of in Lancs is a dirt ruck! Plenty of those in my day. A fight was a ruckus!
By the way, are you the Greg Stephens who was at Oxford in the early 60s?            
Malcolm


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: GUEST,Dave Roberts, Salt Town Poets
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 05:14 PM

Hi Greg,

I think 'ruck' used in the context you mention is rare, even in Mid-Cheshire.
I remember being in a Middlewich pub (the Kings Arms to be precise)back in the 1970s and hearing a customer ask for 'a whiskey, with a ruck of ice, please'.
The barmaid (sorry, drinks dispenser) was completely nonplussed and so was I. Neither of us had ever heard the word before (and we had both lived in the town all our lives).
The customer in question got rather shirty when we asked him about the word, and seemed to be under the impression that 'ruck', meaning 'a lot', was common coinage.
Mind you, the same chap used to talk about buying 'a set' of shoes rather than 'a pair'.
I know none of this helps at all, but I thought I'd share it with you.

Regards,

Dave Roberts
Salt Town Poets


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Watson
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 06:05 AM

I used One Look Dictionaries to look up ruck. It listed 26 entries from various on-line dictionaries.
Top of the list was the Encarta entry. The first definition given there is:
1. large number: a large number of people or things
.
This seems a bit strange, given that we seem to be coming to the conclusion that it's a relatively rare usage of the word.


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Subject: RE: the word 'ruck':lancs/chshire/staffs?
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 08:34 AM

Hi Greg,

Ruck as you have described it is used by my older brother frequently. He has lived most of his life in the midlands, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

Don't know if that helps you any, but I definitely understand what is meant by the order "A couple of bacon rolls and a ruck of chips".

Like Snuffy I've only ever come across the term "milling" in the forces. We used to be lined up (tallest to the right shortest on the left) and kitted out with boxing gloves. We were then paired off and ordered into two lines facing one another toe to toe. When the whistle blew you had to knock seven bells out of your opponent until the whistle was blown (normally about three minutes, as for a round in amateur boxing).


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