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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2000 (DOST Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Sauch(e, Saugh(e, n. Also: salch, salk; sawch; saucht, sawtht; sach; pl. also saquhis. [North. ME and e.m.E. salfe (1368), salghe (Cath. Angl.), saugh (1641, also, once, e.m.E. 1548 in Turner Names Herbes), also in the later Sc. and north. Eng. dials., OE (Angl.) salh.]

1. Sallow or willow trees or bushes, collectively; also, specif. as timber.(a) 1398–1400 Aberd. B. Rec. (SHS) 84.
Salch et alryn
(b) 1472 Reg. Cupar A. I 163.
In … plantatioun of treys, that is to say, eysses, osaris, and sauch
1473 Ib. 188.
1587 Carmichael Etym. 4.
Siler, sauch
1587 Reg. Great S. 455/2.
Lie hawthorne, sauche, aller et esp
1607 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 20.
John McKnab verefeit he fensit the hegis and tymbir sauche and esche
1621 Black Bk. Taymouth 372.
He raif up sum sauch and haisseill
(c) 1499 Exch. R. XI 395.
Nor dikyne of na maner of wod … except it be of thorne, saucht, or erde
1579 Inverness Rec. I 273.
Peces of tymmer intromettit wyth be him … viz. saucht, asche and holyne
1586 Inverness Rec. I 307.
Johne Neilson … hes … cuttit … tuaye horse laidis of the greyne young saplyne, saucht, birk and of the vther young growtht
1500-1699 Herbarius Latinus Annot. cxxxvi (Adv.).
(d) 1633 Sibbald's Orkn. & Shetl. 5.
Bushes of elder, saugh and birks
1694 Stitchill Baron Ct. 114.
The … species of tries are declared to be as follows esh, elm, allar and saugh
(e) c1687 Cromarty Corr. I 56.
Send me as many willow stakes for planting as you can and a deall of privet sach; and … grafts of pearlie [etc.]
1696 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 752.
[The said William is to cut no growing timber … excepting] thorns sach and hessell

b. With defining term: (A particular variety of) willow. 1702 Hist. Carnegies 377.
I must desire of you some sets of those saughs I like best of yours, the black saugh, willow, osier, and laurell saugh [etc.]

c. pl. Sallow or willow trees; some instances may refer to different varieties of the tree. 1501 Treas. Acc. II 83.
To George Cambel, gardiner of Strivelin, to by sauchis and to set thaim, iiij Franch crounis
1540 Reg. Cupar A. II 7.
In … plantatioun of treis, eschis, osaris, and saquhis
1552 Elgin Rec. I 116.
Schaw [= sow] … in the feldis folloving … The thortir feld, all aittis … The neder salkis, aittis
1586 Prot. Bk. J. Merser 4 b.
That evirie of the saidis partye plant sauchis and allar treis endlang the sydis of the said … fowsie
1665 Melrose Reg. Rec. II 135.
[To pay to William Carnecroce of Hilslope 20 merks as the agreed price of] the bark of certaine saughes
1692 Foulis Acc. Bk. 146.
To the Lord Raiths gardiners at setting sauchs in the meadows
1695 Ib. 176. 1702 Hist. Carnegies 377 (see b above).

2. A rope made of twisted sallow withies. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 245.
Filling of tauch, rak sauch, cry crauch, thow art our sett
1570 Sempill Sat. P. xii 56.
For this foule deid ȝour seid man rak ane sauch
1595 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 565.
For graithing the mekill thorne … sawchis to be bandis to the samyne and wikaris to bynd the samin

3. Attrib. and comb. with bus and tre, timmer, yaird.(1) 1556 Peebles B. Rec. I 230.
To ane gray stane beneth ane sauch bus
1511 Alloway Baron Ct. 6 May.
The wrangus taking fra him … of ane sauch tre
1513 Doug. vii x 73.
Thar targettis bow thai of the lycht sauch tre
Ib. viii i 54.
1567 G. Ball. 114.
On the sauch treis our harpis we hang
1569–70 Canongate Ct. Bk. 167.
To pay xviijd to the said James for ane sauch trie borrowit ane yeir syne
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Salix, a sawch tree
1607 Crim. Trials II 522.
With foure hundreth grit growand sauch treis
1579, 1617 Despauter (1617) 8.
Silur, a sauch tree
1684 Symson Descr. Galloway 81.
An old ruinous castle with planting of sauch or willow trees for the most part about it
(2) 1673 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 416.
[To cut no timber] except ramell saugh timber
(3) 1671 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds I 344.
[Part of the hemp yard next to the] saugh yaird with als maney of the saughes [as will be needful for his use]
1673 Ib. 454.
The sach yeards and the wat rigs that lyes west of the mansione hous

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"Sauch n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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