The Scotland/Northern Ireland idiom for gagging without vomiting.

NOTE: The idiom is *the* dry boak. It it never *a* dry boak.

It is from this idiom that the word boak escaped to take on a life of its own (along with the alternate spelling boke) -- with some people using boak (or boke) to mean "the dry boak," and others meaning normal vomiting.
"It would huv gied ye the dry boak tae hear them sookin up tae him, aw sweetie sweetie." (Anne Donovan, Hieroglyphics: And Other Stories, 2001)
by picky-picky etymologist July 30, 2008
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