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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CONNOCH, CANNAGH, Canech, Connach, Connough, Connagh, Cunnagh, n. [′kɔnəx, ′kɑnəx, ′kʌnəx]

1. The murrain in cattle.Gall. 1692 A. Symson Large Descr. of Gall. (1823) 35:
This well is made use of by the country people, when their cattell are troubled with a disease, called by them the Connoch.
Uls. 1823 S. McSkimin Hist. Carrickfergus (1909) 329:
Cows eating of the grass that it [the connough-worm] passes over, are believed to be affected with that fatal distemper called the connough.

Comb.: connach-worm, connoch-, connough-, the caterpillar larva of the hawkmoth, Sphinx atropos (Uls. 1880 W. H. Patterson Gl. Ant. and Dwn.).Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 410:
I dinna like the Meg o' mony feet, Nor the brawnet Connochworm.
s.Sc. 1835–40 J. M. Wilson (ed.) Tales of the Borders (1857–59) II. 42:
There is the connach-worm crawlin' amang yer feet.

2. The pip in fowls (Per. 1898 E.D.D., cunnagh), “a disease . . ., in which the nostrils are so stopped that the fowl cannot breathe, and a horn grows on the tongue” (Fif. 1825 Jam.2, cannagh; Slg. Ib., connagh).

3. Some kind of disease in human beings; “something tickling in the throat causing hiccups — somewhat similar to the sound and action in the throat of a chicken” (Fif.11 1935).Fif. 1890 A. Burgess Poute 56:
For cleerin' the skin — it [a well-boiled leek] is beter Than Saip, And it Keeps back the canech — fae touchin' oor tungs.

[O.Sc. connawche, murrain, c.1420; connoche, connogh, some kind of disease, a.1585 (D.O.S.T.); obs. Gael. conach, murrain in cattle (Maeleod and Dewar).]

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"Connoch n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Oct 2023 <>



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