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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Lauch, v. Also: lach(e, lagh; lauche, lawch(e, laugh, lawgh; lacht, laucht, laught. P.t. luch(e; leuch(e, (leuth,) lewch(e, leugh(e, lewgh, leuiche; luich(e, luyche; louch, lowch(e; lucht, leucht, leught; laucht, laught. P.p. lachin, lawchin, laughen; laughten; lached. [ME. lahe(n, lahȝhenn (Orm), laȝ(h)e(n, lagh(e and lauhwen, lauȝe, lawȝhe(n, p.t. logh(e, loȝe, looȝ and lough(e, louȝ(h), lowgh, later lauȝed, laughed, p.p. laughen later laughed, OE. (Anglian) hlæhhan, p.t. (sing.) hlóᵹ, hlóh, p.p. *hlaᵹen, hlæᵹen.]

1. intr. To laugh (in amusement, pleasure, derision, etc.); also, to laugh in one's sleive.Also quasi-tr., with cognate object.(a) c1420 Wynt. v. 2252.
That men mycht newyre, for play na bowryd … Ger hym blenk, na lauch, na smyle
c1420 Ratis R. 1121.
[A] child can no mare Bot lauch or gret for joy and care
a1500 Peblis to Play 109.
Ane ȝoung man … began to lauche for heydin
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 240.
Loudly lauchand the laif allowit hir mekle
Ib. 417.
My mouth it makis murnyng & my mynd lauchis
Arundel MS. 253/424.
In playis, lauchand and speikand vane langage
1535 Stewart 42467.
Forlane, tha sa, suld ay cum lauchand hame
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 55.
Bot I lauch best to se ane nwn Gar beir hir taill abone hir bwn
15.. Clar. v. 1390.
c 1568 Campbell Love-Lett. Mary App. 24.
Haif ye not desyr to lauche to sie me lie sa weill
1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 24.
The commoun pepill, not certanely knawing quhidder scho lauchit or lamentit
1581 Burne Disput. 14 b.
Sua lauch alsmekle as ye pleis, I vil ansuer to you [etc.]
a1599 Rollock Wks. I. 308.
The glory apperteinis to thee, and ȝit thou is lauchand; allace, quhat sall betyde thee?
1600-1610 Melvill 431.
Yie, wha, lauching in your sleive, Now maks this mater seage unto your drink
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 486.
This pretty sarcasm, which … I here insert to make my reader lauch
(b) 1619 Garden Elphinstoun 2447.
Neu'r was he seene to lache
1662 Nicoll Diary 369.
[He] maid many of the memberis of Parliament to lagh and jeest
(c) a1500 Bernardus 159.
Quhen that thai chide … for to lacht
(d) a1400 Leg. S. i. 241.
Ymagis … of bras and stane That semyt to laucht all elane
Ib. xi. 194.
That rednes me Assalȝeis; quhare-for sa laucht ȝe?
1549 Compl. 169/18.
Democrites … vald laucht and scorn vs be grit derisione
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 1690.
The face of ane ape to be ready to laught in soothing
(b) c1420 Wynt. v. 4417.
The kyng than luch [C. luyche] and said heyly [etc.]
(a1568 Henr.) Bann. MS. p. 43/67.
This lene man luche na thing bot tuk his leif
a1568 Gyre-carling 13.
The carling luche and lut fart North Berwick law
(b) c1420 Wynt. i. 456.
Cam … lewch rycht fast [etc.]
c1450-2 Howlat 829.
The lordis leuch apon loft [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 193.
Quhylis thay leuch, and quhyllis for joy thay gret
a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 1065.
The lordis on the tothir side for liking thay leugh
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 313/25.
The auld moder leugh quhen the angell said scho suld consaif
a1508 Kynd Kittok 21.
God lukit and saw hir lattin in & lewch his hert sair
1513 Doug. xii. Prol. 223.
I salbe thar, I hope, quod he, and lewch
1531 Bell. Boece I. 208.
This cruell tyrane leuch nevir bot quhen he hard … slauchter of his nobillis
1549 Compl. 153/26.
He smylit and leuch, and changit his coller in glaydnes
15.. Clar. v. 502.
Scho … smyllit sum deall quyetlie … and [he] speirit Why that scho lewch
1602 Dundonald Par. Rec. 10.
Hir bairn … leuch in his sleip
1642 Bk. Pasquils 117.
He saw and leuiche, thou hid thy fathers shame
1667 Highland P. II. 22.
When M'Donald did see M'Kenȝie … bide his coming, he leugh saying to his brother Archibald [etc.]
1686 Stuart Joco-Ser. Disc. 15.
She did no frown But leugh and call'd me limmer-lown
16.. Sempill P. 44/71.
Whan he play'd, the lasses leugh, To see him teethless, auld and teugh
(c) ?1438 Alex. (c 1580) ii. 5167.
With that, thay luich and maid thare gamyng
a1578 Pitsc. II. 468/12.
The heretickis war wae, the Catholickis luiche
1596 Dalr. I. 181/30.
He esteimeng it nathing bot … ald wyfes vane fables, luich and departed
(d) c1475 Wall. viii. 17.
Lychtly he lowch, in scorn as it had beyn, And said [etc.]
a1570-86 Dunb. Maitl. F. xi. 27.
Bot ȝet lowche [B. luche] neuer Mahoune
Ib. 29.
All the dewillis lowche and maid gekkis
a1538 Abell 44 b.
In Cans a barn louch in his modiris wayme
(e) a1400 Leg. S. xi. 192.
The apostil[is] lucht rycht faste
Ib. xxi. 368.
Aquila nedly wit wald quhy thai lucht
1531 Bell. Boece II. 295.
He tuke sic malancoly … that he leucht nevir efter
1549 Compl. 170/13.
Democrites leucht and scornit our solist abusione
a1598 Ferg. Prov. MS. No. 1397.
quasi-tr. That is the hairs laughter quhilk sho leught quhair sho hang at the sadle bow
(f) 1611 J. Melvill in T. McCrie Melville (1899) 446.
I laucht to sie how lords ar maid of louns
1686 Stuart Joco.-ser. Discourse 71.
Then Heraclitus girn'd and laught, Whilk set the raging rabble daft

2. To laugh (in friendly or affectionate manner) on or upon (a person). ?1438 Alex. ii. 10524.
The King … can cry Lauchand on thame full lufsumly, ‘Welcum mote my friendis be!’
1533 Boece iv. xviii. 159.
Folkis quham apoun Fortune lewch in the begynnyng
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1875.
My deir sone, … Sall I neuer thé lauchand on me se?
a1568 Bann. MS. 81 a/36.
Quhill I … had anewch … Rycht blythlie on me thay lewch
1576 Crim. Trials I. ii. 56.
Sche saw him gangand up and doun on the gait … quhair he leuch upoun hir
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 121.
Having faith, all the creatures of God man laugh on us
1591 Crim. Trials I. ii. 245.
Rychard, lauching upoun hir, declarit … that scho … sould be … of the doaris of itt
1613 Elgin Rec. II. 135.
Becaus they lewche upone him they movit him to lauche again

3. To laugh at a. something amusing or laughable, b. a person, in amusement or mockery.a (a) a1500 Bernardus 223.
A mane to lach at ioculatouris fantasy … is rewarde to tham
1562-3 Winȝet I. 78/25.
Ane gesting-stok, ane fable or bable to lach at
1596 Dalr. II. 46/9.
That quha sa … beleiuet him to be king … mycht … lach or greit at thair awne vanitie
(b) c1515 Asl. MS. II. 262/434.
Scho hath ioye to lauch at my peyne
1513 Doug. 908/17.
Quha sa lawchis heirat, or hedis noddis, Go reid Bochas
1580 Hume Promine 38.
Quhen they … lauchis at my letter
(b) ?1438 Alex. ii. 3579.
Of amouris spak thay … And Ideas … leuch thareat rich wilfully
a1500 Peblis to Play 86.
All that luikit thame vpon Leuche fast at thair array
a1500 Henr. Fab. 563.
Now juge ȝe all quhairat Schir Lowrence leuch
1568 Lyndesay Pref. 4.
The bischoppis at sic bourding leuch neuer ane quhit
1613 Elgin Rec. II. 135.
[He] deponit his aith he lewche nocht at na word nor poynt of the preitching
1619 Misc. Bann. C. I. 211.
At which words he leugh as if he had bein kittled
c1650 Spalding ii. 292.
His escaip wes wrocht in October, quhairat Maior Munro leuche not a word
(c) 1581 Burne Disput. 160 b.
In caice ȝour vanitie be lachin at be the hail varld
a1650 Row 463.
When the man of God uttered the words, they were laughen at by the hearers
1665 Lauder Jrnl. 83.
We have laughten no litle at some [tales]
b (a) c1420 Ratis R. 1514.
At hyme suin thai lach & say, Se ȝone man [etc.]
1650 Misc. Maitl. C. II. 483.
Onlye the … Countese of Hadinton did publicklie insult and laucht at him
1662 Nicoll Diary 369.
That he saw the day that thai durst not lagh at him
(b) c1420 Wynt. iii. 835.
He luche [W. lewgh] at him dispytwysly
1640 Bk. Pasquils 103.
The Couenanters leuche at theme
1646 Hope Diary 129.
They thoght it impossible and leugh at me
(c) 1562-3 Winȝet I. 73/8.
Ȝe schaw ȝour arrogance only … , to be lachin [MS. lawchin] and gestit at
(b) 1630 Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 264.
We will be all lached at and med a moking to the world

4. tr. To laugh at, deride (a person or thing); also, to laugh to hething or to scorn.(1) a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 651.
To eik his [Christ's] wo, the moir thai leuch his pane
(2) a1568 Bann. MS. 261 b/15.
The folkis … Denyis and lachis thame to hething syne
1567 G. Ball. 96.
Bot thow, gude Lord, sall lauch thame all to scorne
a1585, a1568 Montg. P. xxxiv. 26.
Sowme will … lauche Goddis word to scorn
c1615 Chron. Kings 98.
Laching thame to skorne
1611-57 Mure True Crucifixe 1171.
Hee laughs to heading their conceats

b. To laugh ov'r, = to laugh away, laugh off. 1639 Fugitive Poetry xvii. 102.
Yet … all those torturing tossings Which I have tryde, I laught them ou'r as sportings

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"Lauch v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Apr 2024 <>



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