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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BAUCH, BAUGH, adj. Also bawk. 14 Gen.Sc. [bɑ(:)x, bǫ:x Sc.; bɑux s.Sc.]

1. Indifferent, sorry, feeble.Sc. 1736 Ramsay Proverbs (1776) 10: 
Beauty but Bounty's but bauch.
Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Gloss. 4:
Bauch, sorry, indifferent.
Ags.(D) 1922 J. B. Salmond Bawbee Bowden vi.:
Weel, I'm no' sayin' but the kirk's bauch eneuch whiles.
Fif. 1862 St Andrews Gaz. (8 Aug.): 
I hae often seen that thae smart laddies often turn oot bawk enough men, while the canny, sober-lookin' anes as often turned oot men o' sterlin' wisdom an' ability.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto Tammas Bodkin (1868) iv.:
An unco baugh, barren an' uninterestin' portion o' human life.

2. Of ice: affected by thaw; not slippery.Dmf. 1830 R. Brown (ed.) Lochmaben Curling Society Memorabilia Curliana Mabensia 46:
To be properly equipped, however, all curlers should be provided with two sets of stones, one certainly not above 35 lbs. for baugh ice; the other from 45 to 50 for keen.

3. Of an instrument: blunt, dull or turned on the edge (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.2; also Abd.9 1933).Edb. 1801 J. Thomson Poems 137:
Your razors, man, were baugh indeed, An' they o' sharpin' had great need.

4. Backward, bashful, timid, sheepish, foolish.Sc. 1728 A. Ramsay Gentle Shepherd Act III. Sc. iv.:
Without Estate A Youth, tho' sprung frae Kings, looks baugh and blate.
Bnff. 1929 Knappies at the Rural in Bnffsh. Jnl. (1 Oct.):
Efter I pat teeth on the first scone, I forgot to be bauch.
Abd.(D) 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxxi.:
But my opingan is that he's been aye owre bauch in's nain beheef.
Ags. 1819 J. Ross Angus-shire Chaplet 33:
The French were baugh on Aspern haugh An' thousands owre did fa', man.
Per. 1895 R. Ford Tayside Songs 272:
Sae rare the smile forsook my mou', 'Twas vow'd I was a bauch ane.
wm.Sc. 1882 Anon. Want o' Siller in Songs and Ballads of Clydesd. (ed. A. Nimmo) 216:
But nane wad tent the puir baugh chiel — There's nought for me but black starvation.

5. Weak, tired, exhausted, seedy.Sc. c.1707 Jacobite Minstrelsy (1829) 40:
The auld wise man grew baugh, And turn'd to shank away.
Ags. 1931 J. D. Simpson in Abd. Press and Jnl. (15 Jan.):
Bauch. . . . The word is also used to describe that feeling of malaise which is otherwise known as “seedy.”
Slk. a.1835 Hogg Tales, etc. (1837) IV. 87:
“What ails thee, honest lad, that thou looks sae baugh?” said the auld wife.

Phrase: to get the bauch, to grow sick (Edb.2 1933).

[O.Sc. (D.O.S.T.) has bauch, bawch, baich, bach = (1) ineffective, weak; (2) of strokes given with something blunt as a cudgel; (3) unsavoury. The last is now gen. replaced by Wauch. Cf. O.N. bāgr, uneasy, poor, hard up, and O.N. bagr, awkward, clumsy.]

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"Bauch adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Apr 2024 <>



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