sken (look)


Senior Member
English English
Something just reminded me of this word, which for me has always been a noun (meaning a look), but for which the OED gives this, which is near enough:

sken v.

intr. To squint; to give a side-look; to glance.

As in:
Savva sken
= Let's have a sken / Let me have a look.

Question: How far does this bit of dial. reach?
  • liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I don't think it's even made it to other parts of the North West of England Ewie. I grew up in the NW and I've lived in the NE, SE and SW of England and I've never heard it.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    It hasn't reached {my personal bit of} south-west England, ewie.

    I was wondering if it might be related to 'scan', but I see the OED says it's "of obscure origin".

    Nice word!:)


    Senior Member
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I haven't heard of sken, though the meaning is clear from the example given (Savva sken).

    It sounds like the same kind of thing as a skelly, which is familiar here. The OED includes skelly as a verb, meaning to squint. It's labelled as Scottish and northern dialect.
    Gissa skelly! = Would you mind letting me have a look at that?

    I don't expect there is any connection.


    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    From the urban dictionary:

    - Sken

    Sken is a phrase used to alert someone to your desire to view an object or to describe the act of looking at or viewing something ("Skennin'").

    The phrase itself originated in Manchester and is generally only used in North Western locations e.g. Manchester, Wigan, Bolton etc.

    Lad - "I banged me leg on't table."

    Lass - "Yer muppet, lets have a sken


    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    In Swedish the word sken means "light". There could be a connection. Any Vikings in Manchester?

    The word may be more widespread: it is apparently also listed in Webster's, meaning squint.