Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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AUCHT, AUGHT, A(A)CHT, n.2 [ɑxt, ɔxt, xt Sc.; ɑuxt, ɔʊxt Rxb.]

1. In abstract senses.

(1) Possession, ownership, gen. in phrases with in (or other prep.) and a possessive. Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xvi.:
I am as weel worth looking at as ony book in your aught.
Sh.(D) 1922 J. Inkster Mansie's Röd 112:
I wiss ta Him 'at made me, Mansie, at dey'd niver been a hen shiken apo' wir aucht.
Abd. 1832 Anon. Jamie Fleeman (1861) 13:
I hae brought them [sc. the cows] to get the milk from your lordship that ye said they had when in your aught.
Abd. 1877 G. Macdonald Marq. of Lossie lix.:
“Ay, ay,” returned Lizzy, “but whase aucht (owning, property [Author's note]) is't?”
Ags.1 1927:
Ye haena a better ane in yer aucht.
Fif. 1894 J. Menzies Our Town 64:
He has nae a coat like yours in a' his aucht.
wm.Sc. 1835 Laird of Logan II. 11:
How mony times ha'e ye been deein' and gaun to dee, sin' ye cam' into my aught?
w.Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 43:
Hei hasna a ferdin' in a' his aucht.

(2) What it belongs to one to do; one's duty. (Prob. influenced in meaning by aught = ought, v., if not simply that word used as a noun.) Ayr. 1822 Galt Sir A. Wylie xcviii.:
It's far frae my aught to say, . . . but I hae a notion their [sic] no overly pleased about something.

2. Concrete. That which is possessed, property.

(1) General usage. Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Sc. Proverbs (1818) 40:
Better saught [= ease] with little aught, than care with many a cow.

(2) Applied to persons (a) with epithets of praise (often ironical), or blame — e.g. a bonny aught, a bad aught; (b) in pregnant sense (Sh.): a aacht, a possession worth having, a treasure. (a) Sc. 1825 Jam.2:
Bad aught, a bad property, applied to an obstinate ill-conditioned child.
n.Sc. Ib.:
Bonny aught, a phrase applied to a person contemptuously.
Abd. 1778 (2nd ed.) A. Ross Helenore 38:
Ay auntie, gin ye kent the bonny aught . . . For had my father sought the warld round . . . An odder hag cou'd not come in his way.
(b) Sh.(D) 1906 T. P. Ollason Spindrift 121:
Da aald wife, my ain aald wife, Haes been a acht ta me.
Sh.(D) 1918 T. Manson Humours Peat Comm. I. 123:
“Aacht? Whats that?” asked Mr E. “Oh, its a thing wirt hevin, an wirt keepin; a jewel laek da Tittie here, ye ken.”

[O.Sc. aucht (e.g. Dunbar, in my aucht), Mid.Eng. aght, auht, etc., O.E. ht (shortened into aht), from āgan, to own, possess.]

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"Aucht n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 6 Jun 2020 <>



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