Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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KINCH, n.2 Also kench.

1. An unexpected advantage or opportunity (Mry. 1813 W. Leslie Agric. Mry. 459; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Abd. 1960), a favour (Dmf. 1894 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 150). Phr.: ‡to ke(e)p kinches, to serve a turn, be useful in an emergency, to work in harmony, act in conjunction, fall in with the plans or ways of another (Wgt. 1960). Ayr. 1822  H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 209:
As he was a sort o' toofa' upon their kindness, it fell his part to keep their kinches.
Slg. 1825  Jam.:
I canna kep kinches wi' him.

2. A division of land, for which lots are cast. Per. 1799  J. Robertson Agric. Per. 62:
The first deviation from run-rig was by dividing the farms into kavels or kenches, by which every field of the same quality was split down into as many lots, as there were tenants in the farm. . . . Kench signifies a larger portion of land than a ridge.

[O.Sc. has kinsh, a throw of dice, a.1605, to count one's kinch, to reckon up one's true position, 1585. O.Fr. canc(h)e, keanc(h)e, a throw at dice, luck, fortune, also in phrs. geter sa cance, conter sa keance, Northern Fr. forms of chance.]

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"Kinch n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jan 2020 <>



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