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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.

KICH, n.1, v., int. Also cich; keach, kiech, keech, keegh; kach; dim. keechie (Kcb. 1940); †kaigh (Fif. 1825 Jam.). [kiç, kɪç]

I. n. 1. Ordure, excrement, filth or dirt of any kind (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 94; Cld. 1880 Jam.; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Ork. 1929 Marw.); a lump of excrement. Gen.Sc. Hence kichie (Abd. 1960), keechie, keeghie, filthy, nasty, disgusting (Edb., Gsw. c.1900; m.Lth., Dmf. 1960). Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 40:
keech Pronounced with ch as in 'loch', this means muck, especially excrement: 'Ma shoe's aw keech.' ...
Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 40:
Keechy means mucky, covered in something disgusting.
Gsw. 1990 Alan Spence The Magic Flute (1991) 15:
'... As if it wasnae bad enough playing the tune and keeping step, you had to watch your feet on the horses' keech in the road!'
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 4:
Ah think that's how they issued us wae these keechy coloured ankle-stranglers. Camouflage, innit?
Gsw. 1992 Jeff Torrington Swing Hammer Swing! (1993) 136:
Shug, the officially-appointed Keeper of the Keechs, was wearing the approved uniform for such a postition [lavatory attendant]: brown dungarees, cap, black wellies, and an expression of outraged authority on his face which was appropriate to a man who took his job and his bog seriously.
m.Sc. 1996 Christopher Brookmyre Quite Ugly One Morning (1997) 5:
'Heh, there's a big keech on the mantelpiece, sir,' announced Skinner joyfully, having wandered up to the doorway.
em.Sc. 1999 James Robertson The Day O Judgement 27:
" ... Or sense or reason for ma guide?
Hou wis I no juist made a flee
Or a mauk in keech tae bide? ... "

Comb.: keech-catchers, also kich-catchers, jocular term for plus-fours, baggy breeches.Abd. 1988:
Thon loon at weers kich-catchers.
Gsw. 1990 John and Willy Maley From the Calton to Catalonia 10:
Cut the cackle an gie us they keech-catchers aff tae a delouse ye.

2. (1) Nonsense; rubbish. wm.Sc. 1979 Robin Jenkins Fergus Lamont 129:
In the Sunday newspapers and literary weeklies books were often acclaimed in terms that would have been hyperbolical applied to King Lear or War and Peace. 'Kach,' Campbell Aird would say, with a snort, and sure enough, a year or two later, those masterpieces were everywhere recognised to be kach and flushed away for ever.
Gsw. 1984 James Kelman The Busconductor Hines 32:
You trying to tell me you got a haircut once a month! Suavity; aye. A smooth team so we are. The Drum's a debonair district. Keech. Is it fuck keech; there was always somebody needing a haircut; the rest of us just sloped along for the outing.
Gsw. 1994 Herald (7 Oct) 16:
"Next will come Labour's statement of values and objectives for the 1990s, a modern big-membership party with mainstream policies." Ach, ye never heard such keech.
And what is Brown doing writing this sententious mince?
Gsw. 1995 Chris Dolan Poor Angels 83:
'Shite. That's shite. If you do all the right stuff - go to confession and mass and all that keech, big Satan can't touch you. ...'
Edb. 1997:
I wouldna bother lookin in thon dictionary. It's kich.
Gsw. 1998:
'Why's it no workin' 'Because it's keech.'
em.Sc. 2000 James Robertson The Fanatic 248:
' ... They see aw these nasty possibilities and they go, there but for the grace of God go I, or some such self-righteous keech. Which is a less honest wey o sayin, mebbe that's me oot there, I jist canna admit tae it.'
Sc. 2002 Aberdeen Evening Express (24 Sep) 18:
Straight talking ... got to like it. Especially when it involves the phrase "bletherin' a heap o' keech."

(2) Contemptuous term for a person.Gsw. 1985 Michael Munro The Patter 40:
keech ... Sometimes used as a term for a despicable person.
m.Sc. 1998 Herald (24 Mar) 33:
"McLean. Yir a wee keech, and if ye wur any bigger ye'd be a big keech!"

II. v. To void excrement (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 94; Inv. 1907). Gen.Sc. Hence kichen, -in, disgusting, obnoxious: of children: disagreeable in temper (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 94); of adults: “stuck-up”, haughty (Abd. 1960). Cf. Dirten, 2wm.Sc. 1968 G. Williams From Scenes Like These xii.:
I've kieched in my breeks.

III. int. An exclamation of disgust, a warning ejaculation, gen. to a child, not to touch something dirty or undesirable (Fif. 1825 Jam.; Ayr.4 1928; I. and n.Sc., Ags., Per., m.Lth., Ayr., Kcb., Dmf. 1960).e.Rs.1 1929:
Cich! used to little children who are eating something nasty.

[A child's variant of cach, Cack, id., q.v.]

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"Kich n.1, v., interj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jun 2022 <>



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