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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HUTCH, n., v. Sc. usages:

I. n. 1. Mining: the receptacle in which coals are conveyed from the face, formerly a type of basket, now a box-like wheeled truck (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 38; Rnf. 1889 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 151). Gen.Sc. in mining areas. Dim. hutchie. Hence a measure of coal or other similar heavy material, equal to a “hutch-load”. The exact measure varies, though Jam.2 gives it as 2 Winchester bushels (4300 cu. in.) (see quots.).Sc. 1713 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 500:
Each hutch of coall of the ordinary measure now in use to be got out of the saids lands of Gorballs, during the years of the tack.
Slg. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XV. 332:
Formerly the coals were put out by the dark, consisting of twenty eight hutches . . . these hutches becoming more and more uncertain as to the quantity contained in them . . . it became necessary to adopt some new regulations relative to the measure.
Lnk. 1795 Ib. II. 220:
Coal . . . is sold at the coal pit at 9d. per hutch, amounting to 400 wt. two of which make an ordinary cart-load; so that a ton, containing five hutches, or 2000 wt. costs 3s. 9d.
Rnf. 1812 J. Wilson Agric. Rnf. 26:
The price of these pyrites or copperas stones, by old contract, was 2d. per hutch, of two hundred weight.
Slg. 1842 Children in Mines II. 479:
We drag the coal in bagies, which have no wheels, to main road, and fill the hutchies; three bagies fill one hutchie.
Sc. 1892 Scots Mag. (May) 452:
The colliers, who liked his straightforward ways in speech and action, used to say, “There's nae dross in the auld doctor's hutches.”
Gsw. 1915 Ian Hay The First Hundred Thousand (1985) 79:
In civil life he would have shovelled the broken coal into a "hutch" and "hurled" it away to the shaft.
Dmf. 1956 Dmf. & Gall. Standard (31 Oct.):
A hutch which was used for carrying coal at the pit bottom.
m.Sc. 1979 Ian Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 41:
... oor lamps, fresh-chairgit,
sklentit doon
on their wee, dyin' glint
ahint a hutch, ...
Arg. 1993:
As the tim hutches came down, the fu yins came up - well, 'tim' and 'fu', that's the words that's used.

Combs.: hutch cleading, the boards of which a hutch is constructed (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 38); hutch-mounting, its iron framework; hutch pin, a miner's tally put on a hutch to indicate the hewer who filled it; v., gen. in vbl.n. hutch-pinnin, to substitute dishonestly one's own tally for another's on a more fully loaded hutch; hutch-road, the line of rails on which hutches run (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 38).

2. A small heap or pile; specif. of dung (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.); a small rick or temporary stack of corn (Slk. Ib.; Lnk., Kcb., Dmf. 1957). Cf. hut s.v. Hot, id. for the same semantic development.Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 103:
Mony a hutch o' human dung Lies skinklin' owre the cawsey.
Peb. 1802 C. Findlater Agric. Peb. 140:
Dung is . . . emptied from carts into every third furrow, in small heaps (or hutches), five or six of such hutches being contained in a single-horse cart.

3. An embankment built up to check erosion caused by running water (Rxb. (Teviotd.) 1825 Jam., 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb. 1957). Hence, by extension, a deep pool in a river beneath an overhanging bank (Ib.).

II. v., tr. 1. To check the erosive action of running water by building an embankment (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).

2. Of corn, etc.: to set sheaves in small temporary ricks to dry (Lnk., Kcb., Dmf. 1957).

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"Hutch n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Nov 2023 <>



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