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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).

NATCH, n., v.1 Also knatch. See also Notch. [nɑtʃ]

I. n. 1. A notch, indentation (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Cai., Abd. 1903 E.D.D.; I.Sc., Abd., Kcd., Per., Fif., Ayr., 1963). Obs. exc. dial. in Eng. from 17th c. Specif. usages: (1) a rowlock in a boat; (2) in forestry: a shallow drill into which seedling trees are transplanted; (3) in curling: a cut made in the ice to hold a player's foot when delivering the stone, a Hack. Hatch in Sc. 1811 quot. is a misprint; (4) in mining: a small hitch or dislocation, as where the junction of two rails is improperly laid and the rails are uneven (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 46).Edb. 1781 Session Papers, Petition J. Johnston (19 Jan.) Proof 15:
They streighted the bars by forcing them into the mortices or natches in the summers [of a kiln].
Abd. 1817 J. Christie Instructions 10:
Be careful in taking your lock from cock, slipping it gently down until past the standing natch.
Mry. 1897 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 34:
He . . . had forgotten to cut a natch for the wire.
Sh. 1898 Shetland News (15 Jan.):
Sorrow a thing wis haadin' dem bit rust an' da peerie bit o' natch 'at wis cut in a bit.
(1) Lth. 1754 Caled. Mercury (23 May):
Occasioned by the Oar going out of the Natch when sculling.
(2) Nai. 1832 Trans. Highl. Soc. III. 348:
A line being fixed along this newly dug ground, exactly in the place where the first line of plants is to grow, a natch should then be cut out with a spade, close to the line, from one end to the other. . . . They should be placed in the natch with one hand, and a little earth applied to the roots with the other.
(3) Lnk. 1806 J. B. Greenshields Annals Lesmahagow (1864) App. 46:
A better drawer ne'er clapped foot in natch.
Sc. 1811 J. Ramsay Curling 6:
A longitudinal hollow is made to support the foot, close by the tee, and at right angles, with a line drawn from one end of the rink to the other. This is called a hack, or hatch [sic].
Dmf. 1921 T. G. Gracie Poems 74:
Gin ye wad please yer worthy skip, Stan' firm in natch an' dinna slip.

2.? Small scissors used by tailors.Edb. 1752 Caled. Mercury (25 Feb.):
He makes all Sorts of Natches for Taylors . . . likewise Temples and Nifflers [for weavers].
Ayr. 1786 Burns What ails ye now i.:
Losh, man, hae mercy wi' your natch! Your bodkin's bauld.
Dmf. 1820 J. Johnstone Poems 112:
By my needle, book, and natch.

3. A projection from a wooden surface serving as a peg or hook. Also in Yks. dial.Sc. 1793 R. Heron Journey I. 311:
Around the interior walls, from the floor to the roof, are hung knatches to receive the sheaves of corn, even when newly cut. The lofts are airy and open. And through the whole, similar knatches, some fixed to the roof, the lofts or the walls, and some on moveable poles, have been equally disposed.

II. v. 1. To make a notch or incision (Abd. 1825 Jam.; Sh., Abd. 1963). Ppl.adj. natched, notched, having the appearance of a notch; vbl.n. natching, in specif. usage: the planting of seedling trees in shallow drills.Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. 13:
Take a Hoe-plough, with a natched Muzzle, which will give opportunity to yoke the Horsel so as the Fur may be made sufficiently near the Row of Turnips.
Nai. 1832 Trans. Highl. Soc. 348:
Two modes of transplanting, which are commonly named Natching and Dibbling, are practised in nurseries. . . . Dibbled plants never grow so well as those that have been natched.
Edb.6 1944:
If two pairs of rails do not meet [in a horizontal plane] in a straight line they are described as jinked. If they fail to meet in the vertical plane they are natched.

2. To loop, fasten, fix as in a notch (Sh. 1963).Slg. 1806 G. Galloway Nelson 20:
Dick natched a rope round both . . . And haul'd them dripping on the welcome deck.

[A variant of notch, cf. P.L.D. § 54; the form is found in Eng. from 1570.]

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



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