chark

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Related to the first element of charcoal.

Noun[edit]

chark (plural charks)

  1. Charcoal; coke.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe,
      ... so I contrived to burn some wood here, as I had seen done in England, under turf, till it became chark or dry coal ...
  2. A pointed stick, which when placed with the point against another piece of wood, and spun rapidly in alternate directions with the aid of attached cords, produces enough heat by friction to create a fire; a fire-drill.
    • 1872, Charles Hardwick, Traditions, Superstitions, and Folk-lore,
      The discoverer of the chark, or " fire-drill," an instrument for obtaining fire by artificial means, would be so great a benefactor to a people that had to suffer all the inconveniences resulting from occasional fireless hearths, that we may well understand why he may be invested by his astonished and delighted fellow-savages with miraculous or supernatural powers.
  3. (US, Alaska) A wine glass.
    • 2006, Phyllis Downing Carlson and Laurel Downing Bill, Aunt Phil's Trunk: Early Alaska,
      At noon, each man got his half-chark (a wine glass) full of rum and a four-quart iron pot of fish soup made from salt salmon, potatoes and graham flour ... in the evening another half chark of rum and 20 cents as pay for the day's work.
  4. A variety of hunting bird.
    • 1856, Austen Henry Layard, Discoveries among the ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, 2nd Edition,
      A good chark will sometimes take as many as eight or ten bustards or five or six gazelles in the course of a morning.

Verb[edit]

chark (third-person singular simple present charks, present participle charking, simple past and past participle charked)

  1. To reduce by strong heat, as to produce charcoal or coke; to calcine.
    • 1749, John Lowthorp, Royal Society of Great Britain, The Philosophical Transactions and Collections to the end of the year MDCC, 5th Edition,
      I have ſeen Turf chark'd, and then it ſerves to work Iron, and, as I have been inform'd will ſerve to make it in a Bloomery or Iron-work. Turf chark'd I reckon the ſweeteſt and wholeſomeſt Fire that can be, fitter for a Chamber and conſumptive People, than either Wood, Stone-Coal or Charcoal.
    • 1771, John Whitaker, The History of Manchester, Volume 1,
      The method which the Romans now taught them of charking the coal continues eſſentially the ſame until the preſent moment.
  2. (Scotland) To make a grating sound.
    • 1820, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 7,
      The hoarse charking conversation which they carried on was calculated to support the delusion.