Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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HUNCH, n., v. Also hunsh. Sc. usages of Eng. hunch, to hump, a hump:

I. n. †1. A bowing or bending of the body. Fif. 1812  W. Tennant Anster Fair i. xviii.:
Heav'ns! what an awkward hunch the fellow makes As to the priest he does the bow repay!

2. An upward shove or thrust with the shoulders (Abd., m.Lth.1 1957).

3. Dim. hunchie, a hunchback (Cai., Abd., m.Lth. 1957). Attrib. in hunchie-backit, hunchbacked (Abd., m.Lth. 1957). Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 260:
Though bearded and beautiless aye had a lot, An' humphie an' hunchie aft met wi' demand.

II. v. 1. As in Eng., to bend or arch the back; n.comb. hunch-cuddy-hunch, see quot. (m.Sc. 1957). A Bnff. variant, hunch-cairry-hunch, id., is also found (Bnff.16 1957). In Cai. the game is known as hunch-'e-backie (Cai. 1952 John o' Groat Lit. Soc.). Gsw. c.1900  :
Hunch-cuddy-hunch. A small band of boys divided themselves into two teams. The leader leaned his back against a wall and supported his companions who bent to form a continuous line of backs on to which the other side leaped. Whereupon the “cuddy” hunched or heaved to dislodge the load. If one boy was dislodged and grounded the positions of the team were reversed.
Ayr. 1951  Stat. Acc.3 282:
Under the influence of the cinema traditional games like “Leave-o”, “Hunch-cuddy-hunch”, “Kick the Can” are gradually disappearing.
Gsw. 1956  Bulletin (27 Jan.) 5:
I had been helping to pick a football team, or playing a rousing game of hunch-cuddy-hunch, or one of the other manifold pre-cinema delights.

2. To heave or shove with the shoulder (Sh. 1914 Angus Gl., hunsh; Ork., m.Lth. 1957). Sh. 1891  J. Burgess Rasmie's Büddie 13:
An he hunches wi pooer, wi his cliv till a staen.

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"Hunch n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 17 Oct 2018 <>



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