Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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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.

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.
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 2019 <>



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