Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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DROUTH, n. and v. Also drooth, drowth, †druth. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. drought. The forms drouth and drowth are now only in dial. or poet. use in Eng. Cf. Drocht. [druθ Sc., but Gall. + drʌuθ]

I. n.

1. Dry weather, in phrs. (1) a dreepin' drouth, see Dreep, v., 5.; (2) a feedin' o' drooth, (see quot.). (2) Uls. c.1920 J. Logan Uls. in X-Rays (2nd ed.) vi.:
“A feedin' o' drooth” is simply “a feeding of drought” and is applied to fine mist or dew preceding fine weather.

2. Thirst. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. Also common in Eng. dial. Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 86:
Double Drinks are good for Drouth.
Sc. 1746 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) III. 378:
We . . . were all seized with such a druth, that we were all like to perish before sunset.
Sc. 1821 Scott Pirate vi.:
There is the chapman's drouth and his hunger baith, as folk say!
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 58:
Wi' the cauld stream, she quencht her lowan drowth.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xviii.:
And swig away at the small beer, that never seemed able to slocken my drouth.
Lnk. 1927 G. Rae Where Falcons Fly ii.:
Biggar drooth is aye sairest on Biggar Fair day, an' a sair job hae I keepin' sic drooth in boonds.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Lord Daer ii.:
When mighty Squireships o' the Quorum Their hydra drouth did sloken.
Kcb. 1883 G. Murray Sarah Rae 49:
Oh, hunger it is ill to bide, And drouth is waur than a'!

3. A drunkard, one addicted to drinking. Gen.Sc. Sc. 1935 J. Muir in Scots Mag. (Aug.) 375:
A drouth, he was, but I'll say she was the driest stick a man could be tied to.
Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 126:
Let drivilin' drouths hoast out its praise, I'll lilt against them a' I can, And haud my twinklin' crusie up, To show the dignity o' man.
Ags. 1887 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 179:
Lookin' the picture o' a drouth in the horrors.
Gsw. 1936 F. Niven Old Soldier 219:
Many a good man had come out of the last war a drouth, and rum was his tipple.

II. v. intr. To dry (in fish-curing). Kcd. 1883 Fish and Fisheries (ed. D. Herbert) 112:
They (fish) are . . . set outside on frames to drouth.
Abd. 1911 “Viking” Fishcuring 98:
After they are drawn from the pickle the haddocks are laid upon “drippers” to “drouth”, as it is termed in Aberdeen — i.e., to be partially dried and put into shape before being spitted.

[O.Sc. has drowth, drouth, thirst, from c.1500; Mid.Eng. drouth(e), drowth, O.E. druȝað, druhhþe, dryness.]

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"Drouth n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Aug 2021 <>



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