Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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SOUCH, n., adj., v. Also sough, soogh, sooch, such, sugh, ¶soouch (Abd. 1946 J. Milne Orra Loon 13); seuch, seugh, sheuch, sheugh; sauch (Cai. 1904 E.D.D.), saugh (Sc. 1904 E.D.D.), soch, soach, so'h (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.); swuch, swough (s.Sc. 1873 D.S.C.S. 149); swoich (Sc. 1808 Jam.); ¶soucht. [sux; Sh., Cai. sɔx, s.Sc. sʌux(ʍ), sjux(ʍ) ʃux]

I. n. 1. The sound of the wind, esp. when long-drawn out, a breeze (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Rxb. 1942 Zai.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc.; a draught. Dim. soughie. Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 141:
Cauld blaws the nippin north wi' angry sough.
Ayr. 1785  Burns Cotter's Sat. Night ii.:
November chill blaws loud wi angry sugh.
Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xxv.:
Amid the melancholy sough of the dying wind.
Sc. 1830  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1856) III. 37:
There's nae wund noo — only a sort o' sugh.
Sc. 1876  A. Hislop Bk. Sc. Anecdote 343:
Ye're clear o' the soogh o' the door there.
Abd. 1879  G. MacDonald Sir Gibbie 1.:
A wee soughie o' win i' my face.
Dmf. 1920  D. J. Bell-Irving Tally-Ho 18:
By the very sough o' his cowe my precious stone was shifted off the pot-lid.
Uls. 1922  S. S. McCurry Ballytumulty 56:
The sugh in the beeches out by.
Bnff. 1934  J. M. Caie Kindly North 47:
A waefu' sough i' the caul' nicht win'.
Arg. 1949  Mitchison & Macintosh Men & Herring 29:
The wind was back a bit and a strong seuch coming up from the south.

2. The rushing, roaring or murmuring of water (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 431; Rnf. 1920; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Per., Kcb. 1971). Deriv. soughless, soundless, silent, of running water. Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 1:
The torrent's sugh is hush'd, the spate is done.
Mry. 1835  Lintie o' Moray (1887) 64:
Gentle stream, Wi' soughless waters onward stealin'.
Gall. 1867  C. Clouston Explanation of Pop. Weather Prognostics 36:
When the sound called ‘sough o' the sea' is heard, storms are thought to be brewing.
Sc. 1896  Stevenson W. of Hermiston v.:
Just the sough of the swalled burns.
Per. 1898  C. Spence Poems 36:
I sing to the seugh o' the linn.
Rxb. 1904  W. Laidlaw Poetry 67:
And eerie, eerie is the sough O' Jed's half frozen stream.
Abd. 1936  Huntly Express (1 May) 2:
The Deveron's sough comes clear eneuch.

3. A rustling or whistling sound, as of an object moving at speed through the air, a buzzing, a whizzing blow (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 174; Rnf. 1920; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., w.Lth. 1971). Also in Eng. dial.; transf., in 1901 quot., a splashing sound, the sound of an object falling heavily into a liquid, a plop, squelch. Abd. 1754  R. Forbes Journal 26:
You wou'd hae heard the sough o' ilka thudd afore it came down.
Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 134:
To him [the bee] whase voice delights the spring, Whase soughs the saftest slumbers bring.
Ayr. 1786  Burns Brigs of Ayr 66:
The clanging sugh of whistling wings is heard.
Fif. 1827  W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 178:
Its vera sough [of an axe] did freeze their bluid.
Abd. 1875  G. MacDonald Malcolm i. xvii.:
The puir cratur couldna bide the sough o' the claymore.
Lnk. 1881  D. Thomson Musings 63:
Spunky pass'd him in a bleeze, Wi' fearfu' sough that rent the air.
Slg. 1901  R. Buchanan Poems 174:
A sooch like a hauf-hun'er weight bashed into the mud.

4. A deep sigh or gasp, heavy breathing, panting (w.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., n.Sc., Fif., Gall. 1971). Also in Eng. dial. Phr. to be in a soogh, to be in breathless haste. Ayr. 1790  Burns Sherramuir i.:
My heart, for fear, gae sough for sough.
Fif. 1841  C. Gray Lays 67:
Till the last sough o' life flee awa.
Abd. 1891  R. Kirk N. Sea Shore iii.:
The “sough” of the propoise's breathing.
Mry. 1897  J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 84:
Ye're in a richt soogh, Jeamie.
Ayr. 1901  G. Douglas Green Shutters xxvi.:
A heavy sough told her he had found oblivion.
m.Sc. 1927  W. P. McKenzie Bits o' Verse 4:
He'd watch the cannel-wick's deein' spark, And then wi' a sough snuggle doon i' the dark.
Sh. 1967  New Shetlander No. 83. 24:
Wi a soch I laid doon me aald cuttie an stunket up da stair eence mair.

5. Heavy breathing in sleep, a snooze, a nap (Kcb. 1971). Dmf. 1836  A. Cunningham Lord Roldan I. ii.:
The cordial will enable her to steal a wee bit of a sough and a dover.
Sc. 1854  D. Vedder Poems 124:
The sugh o the sleeper waxed noisier still.

6. A song, strain, tune, melody (ne.Sc., Ags. 1971). Phr. like the sough o' an auld sang, like a dying strain; fig., for a song, for next to nothing. Deriv. soughless, soundless, silent. Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xxxix.:
The name of Morton of Milnwood's gane out like the last sough o' an auld sang.
Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 243:
I cou'd sit in the sough o' thy sangs.
Abd. 1844  W. Thom Rhymes 34:
Lull'd wi' the sough o' monie a sang.
ne.Sc. 1891  A. Gordon Carglen 36:
The books went, therefore, in the monetary sense, ‘like the sough o' an auld sang.'
Abd. 1893  G. MacDonald Scotch Songs 7:
Oh! the bonny, bonny dell, whaur the mune luiks doon, As gien she war hearin' a sough less tune.
Abd. 1929  W. Littlejohn Buchan Cottar Stories 29:
Now gi'es a souch o' yer pipes.
Abd. 1966  Scottish Poetry I. 76:
A sough o' sang comes doon the years.

7. (1) The sound or timbre of a voice, accent, tone, way of speaking, twang (Abd., Kcd., Lnk. 1971). Abd. 1790  A. Shirrefs Poems 341:
In simple tale, and Norland sough.
Sc. 1822  Scots Mag. (Feb.) 219:
The very sough, or sound, of this inspired man's voice.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Provost viii.:
As for the young ladies, they could na endure him at all, for he had aye the sough and sound of love in his mouth.
Abd. 1865  G. MacDonald Alec Forbes xxii.:
It's no a sough o' drucken words Wad turn ma heid aside.
Rnf. 1873  D. Gilmour Pen' Folk 50:
Their young hearts, feeling friendless and lonely in their adopted country, were open to the softening influence of the home-sough.
Kcb. 1897  T. Murray Poems 115:
Her sough seemed to me unco' wae.
Abd. 1926  Abd. Book-Lover V. 102:
Donal' Ga' has ceevil sooch Nicht or day, for high or low.
Sc. 1931  J. Lorimer Red Sergeant xi.:
It's a good sough to fall asleep on.

Phrs.: (i) to keep, haud, ca' or make a calm, quiet, sober or lown souch, to keep quiet, hold one's tongue, keep mum, “pipe down” (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc., also in n.Eng. dial.; fig., to keep calm or still. Hence a calm sough, peace, quiet, stillness, silence; (ii) to raise one's sough, to speak out, give utterance, make a pronouncement; (iii) within one's ain sough, under one's breath, sotto voce. (i) Sc. 1820  Scott Monastery xiv.:
Keep a calm sough; better to fleech a fool than fight with him.
Sc. 1827  Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 227:
You'll keep a lowner sugh or you get halfway from Dalnacardoch.
Abd. 1865  G. MacDonald Alec Forbes lxvii.:
Haud a quaiet sough, my man.
Dmf. 1873  A. C. Gibson Folk Speech Cmb. 119:
An' whan she made a calmer souch, An' stey't a wee her skirlin' anger.
Gall. 1881  L. B. Walford Dick Netherby ix.:
Keep a calm sough — a quiet tongue.
ne.Sc. 1888  D. Grant Keckleton 115:
Schooled to keep a “calm sough” about the voting.
Gsw. 1898  D. Willox Poems 196:
Ca'ing a calm soogh when a storm's brewing.
Lnk. 1919  G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 25:
In the calm sough o' heaven's eternal peace.
Abd. 1928  J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 15:
Tae lach an' haud a sober sooch.
Lnk. 1948  J. G. Johnston Come fish with me 115:
A man cam' oot wi' a mooth an' a mainner I didna like, but a' keepit a quate sough.
Abd. 1955  W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vii.:
He jist cad awa an' keepit a quaeit sooch.
(ii) Sc. 1788  Scots Mag. (Nov.) 558:
A' the bards that's rais'd their sugh.
(iii) e.Lth. 1892  J. Lumsden Sheep-Heid 209:
“Conscience,” I cried, within my ain sough, “is this a fact?”

(2) Specif. a high-pitched, canting, nasal manner of speaking, a whine (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 128, 1825 Jam.), esp. in preaching, a pulpit wail. Abd. 1711  W. Meston Poet. Wks. (1802) 146:
When apostolic constitutions Were banish'd by new revolutions, Instead of which, the Sough and Tone Were counted orthodox alone.
Sc. c.1730  E. Burt Letters (1815) I. 166:
One minister, so great a proficient in this sough.
Sc. 1809  J. Carr Caled. Sk. 141:
Many of the lower orders like a particular cant or whine in their preachers; in former times this was called the Gospel soucht.
Sc. 1816  Scott O. Mortality xiv.:
I ken the sough o' her texts, that sound just like the wind blawing through the spence.
Sc. 1832  Scott Novels (1895) XLVIII. 480:
Sough — The chaunt, or recitative, peculiar to the old Presbyterians in Scotland, and to certain extra-religious castes everywhere.
Per. 1894  I. Maclaren Brier Bush 60:
He's a speeritually minded man and has the richt sough.
Sc. 1927  J. Buchan Witch Wood iv.:
Others called him an “affectionate” preacher, and credited him with “unction”. He had the “sough,” no doubt, but it was a gentle west wind.
Sc. 1928  Scots Mag. (July) 273:
“Weelum Morton,” she said a'maist in a sough.

8. General feeling, popular opinion as currently expressed, attitude, style. Phr. to have aye the auld sough yet, to keep the same character, temper or mode without variation (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ayr. 1971). Sc. 1706  Answer to Some Queries, &c. Relative to the Union 12:
I was one of these unhappy disaffected People my self, and carry'd away with the popular souch.
Sc. 1712  R. Wodrow Analecta (M.C.) II. 42:
The souch of the House seemed to be for my transportation.
Ayr. 1952  :
We felt that the souch o the meetin was that. . . .

9. Gossip, rumour, report, scandal (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 267; Uls. 1953 Traynor; ne., m., s.Sc. 1971). ¶Deriv. soughter, a newspaper reporter (Fif. 1951). Sc. 1816  Scott Antiquary xxi.:
There's a sough in the country about that six hundred pounds.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Provost xl.:
A great sough throughout the country on the subject of education.
Sc. 1886  Stevenson Kidnapped vi.:
Before the sough gaed abroad about Mr. Alexander.
Fif. 1897  S. Tytler Witch Wife xi.:
The little prideful quean would rather bear the ill sough and the fierce storm which might follow!
Abd. 1918  C. Murray Sough o' War 13:
A sough o' war gaed through the land.
Uls. 1896  M. Hamilton Ulster Bog 11:
It's the sough of the country that you're going to have a weddin' over in these parts.
Abd. 1943  W. S. Forsyth Guff o' Waur 24:
At present o' successor kin there's neither seuch nor sign.

10. A hubbub, uproar, fuss, to-do (Uls. 1880 Patterson Gl., 1953 Traynor; ne.Sc., Ags., Ayr., Wgt., Uls. 1971). Abd. 1778  A. Ross Helenore (S.T.S.) 66:
An unco din she hears of fouk and play. The sough they made gar'd her lift up her eyn.
Ayr. 1821  Galt Annals xii.:
A sough of something extraordinar going on.
Rxb. 1847  J. Halliday Rustic Bard 88:
Afar from the sigh and the sugh of the crowd.
Ags. 1894  Arbroath Guide (28 July) 3:
I found Marget stripped o' a' her claes an' makin' an awfu' sheugh aboot them bein' fairly past a' redemption.
Abd. 1932  D. Campbell Bamboozled 57:
Dinna mak' sic a sough aboot a curn broken dishes.

II. adj. Quiet, still. Rare. Sc. 1808  Jam.:
He grew quite souch.
Rnf. 1813  G. MacIndoe Wandering Muse 110:
Tho' saunter-gabit, sough an saft.

III. v. 1. Of wind: to make a rushing, moaning, murmuring sound (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1923–26 Wilson; Uls. 1953 Traynor). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial. Kcb. 1789  D. Davidson Seasons 142:
The coming storm sughs awfu'.
Per. c.1800  Lady Nairne Songs (1905) 247:
O weet and weary is the night, Wi' soughing wind and rain, O.
Edb. 1828  D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch ix.:
From the soughing of wind at the window.
Bwk. 1886  T. Watts Woodland Echoes 173:
Autumn's soughin' blast Tells Winter's comin' suin.
Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 121:
The sooch-soochin o' the hairst wind i' the forenicht amon' the stooks.
Sh. 1898  “Junda” Klingrahool 14:
O' da breeze! da beautiful breeze! Hit souchs trough da gills an da seggy lees.
Rxb. 1825  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 16:
A boaggly, gloomin planteen, where the whussellin wund gaed soachin throwe.
Bnff. 1939  J. M. Caie Hills and Sea 63:
The fowk are daunerin' up the widdie side, Far saftly soughs the win'.
Cai. 1961  “Castlegreen” Tatties an' Herreen' 25:
A dinna lek 'at soachan' win'.
Ags. 1969  Montrose Review (30 Oct.):
A cold, dreich wind soughing over the Bervie water.

2. tr. To blow or drive like the wind (in a certain direction), to speed on one's way. Comb. sough-the-win, bellows. Rnf. 1876  J. Nicholson Kilwuddie 98:
Dinna fear, auld Sough-the-win', that noo I'll fling ye doun.
Lnk. 1919  G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 35:
A hairtsome blaw That soughed a freend intil the better land.

3. intr. Of leaves, water, etc., moved by the wind, or of a choppy sea: to rustle, whisper, ripple, gurgle, lap, make a slapping sound (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971). Sc. 1728  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 20:
Torn frae its Roots, adown it souchan fell.
Rnf. 1788  E. Picken Poems 92:
Ere frosty win' soughs through the air.
Wgt. 1804  R. Couper Poetry I. 64:
The show'r wi' heavy spangling draps Soughs through the changing sky.
Rnf. 1806  R. Tannahill Poems (1900) 212:
Fearful soughs the boortree bank, The rifted wood roars wild an drearie.
Ayr. 1892  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 322:
Right glad to fin' some ither din Than soughin's o' the sea.
Bnff. 1918  M. Symon Wir Roup 3:
Will ye hear the win' at your ain brae-fit An' the burnie soughin' through?
Bwk. 1947  W. L. Ferguson Makar's Medley 27:
As up the soochin pine ye speel To view the cushie's nest.
Sh. 1961  New Shetlander No. 58. 25:
Da dull sochin an pluitin a da waater oarin doon da burn.

4. Of objects moving at speed through the air, or sounds caused by swiftly moving air: to whizz, whine, buzz, drone, whistle, flap, whirr (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Sh., ne.Sc., Per., wm.Sc., Kcb. 1971); to do something energetically, to walk with great speed, to scurry, scuttle (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 174). Sc. 1724  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 137:
The feather'd Arrows drive, All soughing thro' the Sky.
Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 58:
He had a soughing in his lugs like a sawmill.
Ayr. 1816  A. Boswell Poet. Wks. (1871) 166:
Sooghin bullets smite and smash.
s.Sc. 1845  E. Aitchison Poems 86:
The swallow swuchan flew.
Mry. c.1875  :
He sooched awa eftern me, fan they begood to dance.
Gall. 1885  Bards Gall. (Harper 1889) 50:
The verra air trembled an' soughed at the sound, O' the death-dealing Galloway Flail.

5. To breathe heavily, sigh, puff, pant, wheeze, splutter, choke, bubble, gurgle (Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., n.Sc., Gall. 1971). Also in Eng. dial. Also fig. Sc. 1711  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 12:
I took a Nap, And soucht a' Night Balillilow.
Abd. 1804  W. Tarras Poems 99:
To see ye gruntin, soughin, blawin.
Kcb. 1885  A. J. Armstrong Friend and Foe 123:
Get up and bring the lantern an' no sough an' grane there.
Uls. 1886  W. G. Lyttle Sons of the Sod xxix.:
A heerd him sughin ower ocht.
Slg. 1897  Harp Slg. (Harvey) 223:
Yet, amang the blankets dosin? There ye sooch, ye cauldrife loon?
Abd. 1909  R. J. MacLennan In Yon Toon 91:
“Sheuching” on the window, and rubbing the moist breath-haze with the cloth in her hand.
Abd. 1929  J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 42:
The bellows sooched wi' wheezy din.
Sh. 1951  New Shetlander No. 29. 18:
Hit's nae winder at shö's sochin. Sees du, da bairn is spleetin.
Cai. 1961  “Castlegreen” Tatties an' Herreen' 16:
Ye may tak' sometheen' licht if ye're no feelan' richt. Or sit at 'e boord till ye're soachan?

6. With awa: to breathe one's last, to die (Sh., ne.Sc., Ags., Per., w.Lth., Ayr. 1971); fig., to come to an end, to stop. Lnk. a.1779  D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 39:
Wi' that her head fell to the cod and she sughte awa.
Sc. 1818  Scott H. Midlothian viii.:
The Laird drank three bumpers of brandy continuously and “soughed awa”.
Ags. 1887  A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 46:
He muttered “Puir Gyp,” an' then he soughed awa.
Per. 1895  I. MacLaren Auld Langsyne 257:
Gin ye cud get it oot o' the waefu' wratch, this week, a'd sough awa easier.
Abd. 1924  M. Angus Tinker's Road 8:
The Tinker's Road maun sough awa' At the far side o' the hill.
Sc. 1935  D. Rorie Lum Hat 22:
Ae cauld nicht he sough'd awa.

7. tr. and absol. To sing softly, to hum, to whistle (s.Sc. 1808 Jam.; ne.Sc., Ags., Per. 1971). Deriv. soocher, a whistler; specif. to recite in a low canting tone of voice, to intone, to whine, to utter mournfully (Sc. 1825 Jam.). See also South, v.2 Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 187:
When he did sough, O wiltu, wiltu do't again!
Sc. 1819  Scott Bride of Lam. xviii.:
Mony a time, I hae soughed thae dark words ower to mysell.
Lnk. 1866  D. Wingate Annie Weir 184:
We'll see the souchin' peesweeps.
Abd. 1909  C. Murray Hamewith 8:
He couldna sough the catechis nor pipe the rule o' three.
Ags. 1918  J. Inglis The Laird 14:
When the tattie pits are happit, The curler soughs his prayer.
Sc. 1918  Weekly Scotsman (29 June) 2:
We would hear him strike his tuning fork and begin to “sough” the tune.
Sc. 1936  J. G. Horne Flooer o' Ling 18:
At the far-off souchin o' a sang.
Abd. 1960  Abd. Press & Jnl. (24 Dec.):
Now another story about a whistling husband — a “soocher”.

8. In gen., of music: to sound, steal quietly, to waft (Abd., Ags. 1971); of a rumour or report: to be spread abroad. Gall. 1821  Scots Mag. (April) 352:
Their succar notes soocht awa alang the how o' the glens.
Abd. 1844  W. Thom Rhymes 8:
Her sang soughs o' despair.
Sc. 1864  J. C. Shairp Kilmahoe 170:
Owre my cradle its sweet chime Cam' sughin' frae auld time.
Ayr. 1910  Poets Ayr. (MacIntosh) 118:
I'd like to hear the bagpipes shrill Come soughin' doon frae the heather hill.
m.Sc. 1917  J. Buchan Poems 43:
The fiddles scrapit and atower the din The “Floo'ers o' Embro'” soughed oot on the win'.
Lnk. 1931  Border Mag. (July) 108:
The birds' sangs gaed soughin' through my soul like the psalms o' heaven.
Abd. 1955  W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick x.:
'At's been soochin i' the win' near sin iver I can min'.

9. To beat severely (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 174).

[O.Sc. souch, a rushing sound, c.1500, suowch, to make a rushing sound, 1450, Mid.Eng. swow, n., swoȝen, v., O.E. swoȝan, to move with a rushing sound. From the 16th-c. almost exclusively Sc. and n.Eng., until re-introduced into liter. Eng. in the 19th-c. See also Soo, v.3, South, n., v.2, Sowff.]

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"Souch n., adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Dec 2017 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/souch>

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