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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
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Teuch, Tewch(t, Tuch(t, adj. (adv.). Also: teuche, teugh, tewche, tewgh, tewich, thewch, tuche, tuich, tugh, tw(i)ch(e, teoch, touch, tough, tuff. Compar. tewchair. [ME and e.m.E. toȝe (Layaman), touȝt (1297), togh (Cursor M.), tow (Manning), tough (Chaucer), towhhe (Prompt Parv.), tufe (a1400-50), tuffe (a1602), OE tóh.]

1. Of materials or material objects: Of a strong, pliable texture, not easily broken or torn; hard. Also compar. and proverb.(a) 1460 Hay Alex. 15836.
Devisit to mak ane tvn of glas Off tewich metall that on brekabill was
a1500 Henr. Fab. 15.
The nuttis schell, thocht it be hard and teuch [Makc. thewch]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 1561.
Thay ran amang the rapis tewch [Ch. teuch, Bann. twche]
c1475 Wall. xi 1061. a1500 Sir Eger 837.
That noble brand … will never bow nor break, Teugh as the wax when it was wrought, Hard like the flint and faileth nought
1513 Doug. v v 58.
The eddyr … Quham the hevy schod cart quheil doith ourtak … ryvand hir tewch bak
1513 Doug. vi ii 122.
A goldin bewch, With aurial levis, and flexibill twystis tewch
1513 Doug. xii xii 210.
A full lang tyme wrelis and tareis Ene, Furth of the teuch rutis of this ilk tre Hys speir to draw
1535 Stewart 5592.
Wapynis … hard and teuche
1540 Lynd. Sat. Proclam. 224.
Ane sark Of holland claith baith quhyt and tewch
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 463.
Thair speiris war sa teuch & strang, That aither vther to eirth doun dang
a1585 Polwart Flyt. 591 (T).
His … schoulderis schawis the merkis … Of tarledderis tewch
compar. 1621 Reg. Privy C. XII 439.
Thay fand it meete that the said glasse sould be maid thikker and tewchair
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1564.
There is a teuch senon in ane old wives heill
(b) a1400 Leg. S. xxvi 910.
Wandis, that are scharp & tucht
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 367 (B).
A widdy twch [Ch. & M. teuch, M. tuche] … abowt thy craig to rax
1589–90 Ayr Common Good Acc.
xx faddum of ane tuich tow to the gabar

b. Of food: Tough, hard to chew. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 113/24.
The tod … lovit na ȝowis auld tuch [M. tewcht] and sklender
a1568 Jok & Jynny 79.
The rost wes twche
c1580-90 Rules of Health 6.
All thingis that is twich and ewill to cheow

c. Of earth: Unyielding. 1513 Doug. xii xiii 213.
Quhat grund, land or erd tewch Sal swelly me tharin half deip enewch
1686 Lauder Notices Affairs II 758.
To labour his gleib, it being very touch clayie ground

d. transf. or fig. Of a knot: Strong, not liable to come apart. c1590 Fowler I 42/161.
The knott Of this our long and lasting lowe is yit so tewche and strong

2. Sticky, viscous, glutinous, adherent. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 2871.
Ane twn he gart prepair, Middillit with pick birdlime and siclike wair. Sa thick and teuch, that quha thairin cum wald … it wald thame hald
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 14.
Sic excrementis maist corrupt and teuch
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 38.
Mastic comfortis the stomak, expellis fra the samin all teuch raw fleume
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Tenax, clamm, tewgh
1614 Melvill lvi.
Ane hudge quantitie of teuch humoris gathered togidder in his syd, in the forme of ane postrum
1629 Boyd Last B. (1629) 413.
What a piece of clammie teugh clay is this that fettereth so my soule
1687 Cromartie Corr. I 51.

3. Of persons or animals or their behaviour: Physically or mentally strong, tough, difficult to contend with, not easy to get the better of. a1500 Rauf C. 521.
Sic ane stubill husband man wald stryke stoutly; Thair is mony toun man to tuggill is full teuch
1571 Sat. P. xxv 100.
They know I am ane tuilȝeour teoch
a1568 Sempill in Sat. P. xlviii 25.
The quhyt is twiche, and fresche ennewche
1576 Douglas Corr. 207.
As fleet a brache, and tugher than ever maiden was
1681 Colvil Whig's Suppl. (1681) i 94.
His wit was tough … But now he kytheth like a fool
1684 Glamis Bk. Record 29.
Sir William Bruce being a contentious and teuch lawer will be verie troublesome to be overtaken upon that head
a1689 Cleland 14.
Tho she be somewhat old and teugh, She's a Scots woman

4. To mak it teuch, to make difficulties in some regard; to make a show of reluctance; to be obstinate or persistent about something. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1069.
Thow seis thou art schent, It may nocht mend the ane myte to mak it so teugh
a1500 Peblis to Play 204.
Thay … bade gif the daunsaris rowme Will Swane makis wounder teuche
1535 Stewart 58727.
Fortoun … Turnit hir face fra this ilk lord Persy And on the castell of Coklawis scho leuch, Quhomeof befoir scho maid it strang and teuch
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1508 (B).
Be god I ken ȝow weill annewch: Ȝe ar fane, thocht ȝe mak it twich
a1568 Scott ii 154.
With lawchter lowd thay lewche, Quhen thay saw Sym sic curage ta, And Will mak it sa twche
a1568 Jok & Jynny 42.
Now deme I haif ȝour bairne mareit Suppois ȝe mak it nevir sa twche
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 363/111.
Said sic luf I rid ȝow layne Albeid ȝe mak it never sa tewch To me ȝour labour is in vane

5. Of an action or event: Difficult to accomplish or deal with, hard fought, involving great effort, etc. c1420 Wynt. vii 3029 (W).
Efter lang and tewgh trete Bunding to the king wes he
1638 Baillie I 124.
The teuchest disputt we had in all the Assemblie
1642 Dunkeld Presb. I 80.
That teuch plea betuixt the toune and the constable

6. quasi-adv. Strongly. a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 704.
All to-turnit thair entyre, traistly and tewch
1581 Sat. P. xliv 125.
Quhen as he draue and Knox held steue the pleuch And Methuen seu adulterie so teuch

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"Teuch adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Dec 2022 <>



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