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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MOCH, n.1, v.1 Also mogh (Ags. 1825 Jam.), mouch (Ork.1 1943). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. moth. [mox; Ork. mɔux]

I. n. Specif. the clothes-moth or its larva (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Per. 1903 E.D.D.; Mry.1 1925; I., n. and em.Sc. (a) 1963); freq. also applied to the wood-worm (Abd. 1963).Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxi.:
Half ate'n wi' the mochs.
Sh. 1900 Shetland News (26 May):
A monster o' a mouch, dat lang, 'at fell oot o' da faulds o'm apo' da flör.
Ork. 1908 Old-Lore Misc. I. viii. 323:
Jeruslam is a bony piece Nae mouch or mooswab thare.
Bnff. 1958 Banffshire Jnl. (3 June):
So I runkit oot the aul' portmanty pyoke, shook the dist an' the mochs oot o't.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 9:
Like mochs aroon a caunle-flame, the mirlin mem'ries heeze:

Combs. and derivs.: 1. moch-eaten, -aeten, -aiten, -etten, moth-eaten, lit. and fig. (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 115; I., n. and em.Sc. (a) 1963), infested with wood-worm (Abd. 1963); 2. moch-flee, a moth (Sc. 1911 S.D.D.; Ork. 1963); 3. moth hawk, the night-jar, Caprimulgus europaeus, from its fondness for eating moths (Ags. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 97); 4. mochie, -y, full of moths, moth-eaten, fusty, unaired and liable to be infested with moths (I. and n.Sc. 1963). Also fig. of persons, ideas, institutions, etc. (Abd. 1963); 5. moch-man, a jocular term for an entomologist; 6. moch-worm, the larva of the moth.1. Ags. 1895 F. Mackenzie Glenbruar 15:
“It's a' moch-eaten,” Jeemie said, crumbling the edge of a board between his finger and thumb.
Abd. 1922 Swatches o' Hamespun 64:
In the neuk fornent the ga'el winnock (sat) a moch-aeten kist.
Abd. 1932 D. Campbell Bamboozled 31:
Ye moch-aiten, gabbin' gawpus.
4. Abd. 1825 Jam.:
A heap of hose is a mochy pose.
Abd. 1904 W. Farquhar Fyvie Lintie 147:
Gin mochie kirks wad teach us mair O' nature's arts and graces.
Abd. 1956 J. Murray Rural Rhymes 57:
Jist shut yer mochy office desk, An' spen' a day at Dinnet, man.
ne.Sc. 1991 Alexander Hutchison in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 101:
Nae lowpin jauds, bit driddlan
slaw - wi skeel an skilp agley.
Mochie, moosy, mizzelt for nowt
fan aa the jaw gings by.
5. Sh. 1961 New Shetlander No. 58. 16:
Maybe een o yun waanderin moch-men.
6. Ags. 1946 Forfar Dispatch (29 March):
The caterpillar or moch worm had made that tae hap itsel in a' winter.

II. v. To be infested with moths. Gen. in ppl.adj. mocht, 1. of a garment: moth-eaten (Abd. 1963); 2. of a sheep: infested with maggots (Ayr. 1963). Cf. maukit s.v. Mauk, v.1.1. Abd. 1920:
A great gaitherm o claes lyin mochin in a kist. My gansey's aa mocht.

[Reduced form of *mochth, O.Sc. moch, a moth, 1637, Mid.Eng. moghe, O.E. mohþe, id.]

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"Moch n.1, v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jun 2024 <>



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