Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DAVACH, DAVOCH, n. Also dauch, daugh. A measure of land, formerly used in the north and east of Scotland and generally considered equal to four ploughgates. The exact extent probably varied in different districts (see quots.); “it included rough ground as well as arable and was a territorial unit of productive capacity rather than a measure of area” (Abd.16). Hist. [′dɑvəx, dɑ(:)x, d:x] Sc. 1726  Invercauld Rec. (N.S.C. 1901) 136:
They extend together to eight Oxgates, or half a Davoch of Land with Houses, Biggings, etc.
Inv. 1808  J. Robertson Agric. Inv. 75:
The divisions of land marked by pounds and marks, etc. are frequent in the lower parts of Scotland; but daughs and bolls are unknown any where south of Inverness-shire. Every daugh seems to have consisted of forty-eight bolls, which comprehended a greater or smaller district of country, according to the quality of the soil.
Mry. 1727  W. Cramond Court Bks. Regality Grant (1897) 27:
Heritors in the Dauch of Laggan.
Bnff. 1787  W. Cramond in Trans. Bnffsh. Field Club (1901) 29:
The davach of Grange contains 42 oxgates or so.
Abd. 1726  MS. in C. Innes Legal Antiq. (1872) 273:
Strathbogie was of old divided into forty-eight Davachs, each containing as much as four ploughs could till in a year.
Abd. 1795  Stat. Acc.1 XIX. 290:
A davach contains 32 oxengates of 13 acres each, or 416 acres of arable land.

[Davach, davoch, dauch, etc., a measure of land, commonly explained as equivalent to four ploughgates, is found in O.Sc. from 1199–1207, the monosyllabic forms appearing first in 16th cent. (D.O.S.T.); from Gael. dabhach, a vat, a measure of land (either one or four ploughgates, according to locality and land). The form dabach occurs in the O.Gael. narrative of the Book of Deer, a.1100, and the word survives in placenames, e.g. Dochfour, Dava, Haddo.]

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"Davach n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Oct 2018 <>



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