Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PITCH, v., n. Also pitsh; pech-. Sc. forms and usages:

I. v. 1. As in Eng., to throw. Combs. and Phrs.: (1) pitching-ring, n., a game played in a ring with marbles. See 2. (2) below, Pick, v 3, 2. and Buttonie; (2) pitch-pea, the wild vetch, a variety of Vicia (sw.Sc. 1896 Garden Work CXIV. 112); (3) pitch-the-beds, the game of hop-scotch, Peever, Pallall. See 2. (1) below. (1) Mry. 1828  J. Ruddiman Tales 222:
He was generally the most expert among his companions at the pitching-ring.
(3) Wgt. 1907  J. Donnan Poems 3:
Whiles we played at “skippin' rope” and “pitch the beds” an' a'.

2. Deriv. pitcher, pecher, n., (1) the flat counter used in the game of hopscotch, a Peever, Pallall (w.Sc. 1887 Jam.; Kcb. 1930), also in form pitchie, id. (Mry., Bnff., Abd. 1966); the game itself (Jam.; Cai. 1903 E.D.D.; Kcb. 1930; Bnff. 1966); (2) a boy's marble which is thrown rather than rolled in games with marbles such as Kype, Moshie, pick-the-ring, s.v. Pick, v.3, 2. or pitching-ring, see 1. (1) above (Gall. 1903 E.D.D.; Bnff., Abd., Ags. 1966); (3) a piece of lead used in the game of Kype (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl.). (1) Edb. 1894  J. Inglis Oor Ain Folk 98:
The skipping-rope and the “pallaly”, the latter known politely in Edinburgh language as “playing at the pitcher”.
Abd. 1926  Buchan Observer (23 April):
Hoppin' Beds. In this game a square piece of wood, termed a pitcher, was thrown into one of four or more squares scratched on the ground. The girl then hopped on one foot and propelled the pitcher over the dividing lines into the remaining squares and out again at the starting point.
wm.Sc. 1936  Glasgow Herald (10 Nov.):
The peever was, in turn, thrown into each of these beds (hence the name of “the pitcher” for the game, because the stone thrown was called the pitcher) then kicked by hopping on one foot.
(2) Abd. 1853  W. Cadenhead Flights 256:
E'en though our pitcher was nearest the mottie.
Abd. 1920  C. Murray Country Places 1:
Syne he rypit his pooches an' coontit his bools, The reed-cheekit pitcher an' a'.
Abd. 1965  Press and Jnl. (13 April):
Our greatest ambition was to own a good “staney”, a hard stone boolie which could be hurled against the school wall without breaking; it became our “pecher” or playing boolie.

II. n. As in Eng., an act of throwing, a toss. In Sc. specif. a throw in the game of Knifie, see quot. (Ags. 1966). Ags. 1934  G. M. Martin Dundee Worthies 179:
“Pitch was played by stabbing the knife in the ground and hitting it with the palm of the hand to make it travel and find an upright position some distance away.

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"Pitch v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 19 Mar 2018 <>



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