Plack (coin)

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A plack (Scottish Gaelic: plang) was an ancient Scottish coin of the value of four Scots pennies or by 1707 one third of an English penny.[1] It appears in the old song:

A’ that e’er my Jeanie had,
My Jeanie had, my Jeanie had,
A’ that e’er my Jeanie had
Was ae bawbie
There’s your plack, and my plack,
And your plack, and my plack,
And Jeanie’s bawbie.

The word is probably derived from the ancient Flemish coin, a plaquette, current before the introduction into the Netherlands of the French money reckoned by francs and centimes.

It can be found in the works of Robert Burns too:

Nae howdie gets a social night,
or plack frae them
(Scotch Drink)
Stretch a joint to catch a plack,
Abuse a brother to his back.
(To Gavin Hamilton)

See also[edit]


  • MacKay, Charles – A Dictionary of Lowland Scotch (1888)