Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GLAMMACH, -OCH, v., n. Also glamach, -och, -ack, glaumach, glommach, and gllammich (Gregor). [′glɑ(:)məx]

I. v. 1. To grasp eagerly, to clutch, snatch (at something) (Ags. 1890; Mry.1, Bnff.7 1927; Abd.27 1954). Phr. to let glamach, to grab. Abd. 1909  C. Murray Hamewith 86:
. . . syne flang him on the yird, An' glammoched at our knees.
Abd. 1911  Kenilworth Mag. (Oct.) 86:
Ane wi' the glammochin shears and tither wi' the ironin' brod.
Abd. 1917 8 :
He let glamach at me as I ran past, bit he didna get a haud.

2. To grope blindly (Abd.27 1954). Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 152:
They scarce had time, 'mang sand and stanes, To glaum and glammach for the banes.
Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 65:
He pat's airm in aneth the bank o' the burn, an' glammacht aboot till he got a bonnie trout.
Ags. 1892  Arbroath Guide (13 Feb.) 3:
As I was glamochin' aboot for my breeks in the dark, Marg'et's cat began to spit an' blaw.
Abd. 1915  H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 18:
It was not customary to light the lamp in the farm-house after the harrows had gone out. They jist glaumached awa' wi' th' fire an' a spunk o' fir.
ne.Sc. 1930  Wkly. Scotsman (19 April) 2:
The young folks “glommacht” for the ring [at the Meal-an-ale], but the seasoned hands dipped their spoons less deep, for they well knew where the whisky was.
Bnff. 1953  Banffshire Jnl. (8 Sept.):
So we gaed awa in tae tha geylies dim an' disty intimmers o' the aul' mull . . . an' . . . I glammoched aboot.

3. To eat greedily (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 66, gllammich). Often followed by up.

II. n. 1. A snatch, a clutch, an eager grasp (Mry.1, Bnff.5 1926; Abd.27 1954), gen. denoting an ineffectual effort (Ags. 1808 Jam.). Bch. 1804  W. Tarras Poems 23:
The case is clear, my pouch is plackless; . . . That saves me frae the sessin's glamack.
Abd. 1879  J. Taylor 11 Years at Farm Work 72:
Just then one of the men under the stone put out a hand and made a “glamach” at their legs.
Bnff. c.1920 6 :
The scamp made a glammach at a bundle o' notes, an' ran oot o' the bank afore ye cud say Jake Robison.
Bch. 1929  per
Gie's a glamach o' yer han'.

2. A groping (Abd.4 1929). Also fig. Abd. 1929  J. Alexander Mains & Hilly 123:
It's only a glammach i' the dark efter a' fin ye come to mairryin'.

3. (1) A mouthful (Ags. 1808 Jam.); (2) a handful. (2) Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 66:
Gee the beggar man a gllammich o' mehl.

[A deriv. of Glaum, v.1, n., q.v.]

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"Glammach v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2019 <>



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