- Ilk is defined as a type or kind of people or things.
When you encounter a very rude person and you say "I can't stand people like him," this is an example of a situation where you could say that you cannot stand people of his ilk.
Origin of ilkScottish dialect, dialectal ; from Middle English ilke ; from Old English ilca, same; probably ; from an unverified form ī-līca ; from ī-, literally , the + -lica, like: see like
Origin of ilkMiddle English Northern and amp; Midlands variant, variety of ilch, ælch ; from Old English ælc: see each
Origin of ilkMiddle English ilke, same, from Old English ilca; see i- in Indo-European roots. Word History: When one uses ilk, as in the phrase men of his ilk, one is using a word with an ancient pedigree even though the sense of ilk, “kind or sort,” is actually quite recent, having been first recorded at the end of the 18th century. This sense grew out of an older use of ilk in the phrase of that ilk, meaning “of the same place, territorial designation, or name.” This phrase was used chiefly in names of landed families, Guthrie of that ilk meaning “Guthrie of Guthrie.” “Same” is the fundamental meaning of the word. The ancestors of ilk, Old English ilca and Middle English ilke, were common words, usually appearing with such words as the or that, but the word hardly survived the Middle Ages in those uses.
- (Scotland and Northern England) The same.
Used following a person’s name to show that he lives in a place of the same name, eg Johnstone of that ilk means Johnstone of Johnstone.
- In modern use, ilk is used in phrases such as of his ilk, of that ilk, to mean ‘type’ or ‘sort.’ The use arose out of a misunderstanding of the earlier, Scottish use in the phrase of that ilk, where it means ‘of the same name or place.’ For this reason, some traditionalists regard the modern use as incorrect. It is, however, the only common current use and is now part of standard English.