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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English holk, from Old English holc (hole, cavity), from Proto-Germanic *hulkaz (a hollow), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱel- (to cover, hide). Cognate with Low German holke, hölke (small hole), German Holk (a type of flat-bottomed barge), Swedish holk (nest, birdhouse), Icelandic hólkur (tube). Related to hulk.


holk (plural holks)

  1. (Britain dialectal) A hollow cavity.


holk (third-person singular simple present holks, present participle holking, simple past and past participle holked)

  1. (transitive, Britain dialectal) To dig out; make hollow; hollow out.
  2. (transitive, Britain dialectal) To dig; dig into; pierce; penetrate; investigate; poke.
  3. (transitive, Britain dialectal) To dig up; excavate.
    • 1908, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen University Studies, Volume 35, page 96,
      The Sessioune perceiving gryt perell through the burieing of people in the kirkyaird of thair perroche kirk and within the kirk itself by raising of grene graivis and holking under the kirk vall undermynding of the samyne ordanis fra this furth that na persone presume to mak graivis within the precinct thairof or yit to burie any persone within the boundis of the samine.




Old Swedish holker, related to hole and hollow, cognate with English hulk.


holk c

  1. a nest box, a birdhouse; a hollow part of a tree trunk used as a container or as a birdhouse
  2. a hulk, an old, decommissioned ship (used for storage or housing)


Declension of holk 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative holk holken holkar holkarna
Genitive holks holkens holkars holkarnas

Related terms[edit]