Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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OCH, int., v. Also oich, oigh (Abd. 1836 J. Grant Tales (1869) 205); ooch, ough. [ox, †ɔiç, †ux]

I. int. An exclamation, orig. of sorrow, pain or regret, now mostly of exasperation, peremptory dismissal of a subject, or weariness, alas!, oh!, confound it! Gen.Sc. Cf. Ach, Ouch. Phr. och aye, yes, of course. Ayr. 1786 Burns To a young Friend vi.:
I wave the quantum o' the sin, The hazard of concealing; But Och! it hardens a' within, And petrifies the feeling!
Gsw. 1810 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 792:
After this, [witness] heard her say “och”, or something like it.
Sc. 1819 Scott B. of Lamm. xxv.:
Och, gentlemen — Och, my gude lords — Och, haud to the right!
Kcb. 1828 W. McDowall Poems 22:
But och! for us 'tis nought but toil.
wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 530:
“Do they speak to you, and you to them?” “Ough aye.”
Sc. 1858 Scotch Haggis (Webster) 123:
Ay, ay, those were days indeed . . . But noo — oich!
e.Lth. 1885 S. Mucklebackit Rhymes 91:
Och, sic a dreary harvest day!
Per. 1903 H. Dryerre Blairgowrie 127:
Although it was never positively certain that the Aldchlappie innkeeper had a still of his own, the general opinion might be expressed in the words of another worthy — “Maybe ay, an' maybe ooch ay!”
Abd. 1916 G. Abel Wylins 38:
Och, I weel ken fat they ca' me.
Ags. 1922 J. B. Salmond B. Bowden ii.:
Och, dinna bather yersel!

Also in various extended forms or combs. with more emphatic force: ochaine (Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 80), oh! an!, o(c)hanee, -ie, -an-nee; o(c)hon(e), o(c)hhon, -(h)on-ee; oh whan, -when (Ork. 1887 Jam.); oh-shon; och-och-anee; o(c)hon(e) o(ch)ri(e), -a-chree, ochone-a-me, o(c)h(h)onari(e), -ori; ochasoch (Arg. 1936 L. McInnes Dial. S. Kintyre 12), och-hoch (Per. 1964) all used orig. and freq. in Gael. contexts; och how (Sc. 1825 Jam.), -(w)hey (Sc. 1868 G. Webster Strathbrachan 403); oh! on a-lack (Sc. 1795 Scots Mag. (Nov.) 719), alas!, woe is me! Sc. c.1710 Jacob. Relics (Hogg 1819) 68:
She fetch'd a deep groan, with many Ohon! “O were I a Thistle again!”
Sc. c.1750 Young Chevalier 7:
Others who understood the English tongue, cried out, “Prince! Oh! an!, Oh! an!”, a Sign of Mourning, and a Scottish Particle expressive of the greatest Grief.
Lnk. a.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) II. 138:
Hard na ye tell o' the twa Highland wives, how the tane cry'd oh, on, oh on, Shenet my cows shot.
Edb. 1799 Edb. Mag. (July) 55:
Oh-on-o-ri! the chanter fails, Whase music bum'd upo, the gales.
Rnf. 1807 R. Tannahill Poems (1876) 291:
Och, hey! Johnnie, lad, Ye're no sae kind's ye should hae been.
Peb. 1817 R. Brown Lintoun Green 71:
My Peter dying! Oh anee!
Slk. 1819 Hogg Tales (1874) 140:
Ochon, ochon! an' is that the gate o't? — a black beginning maks aye a black end.
Ayr. 1821 Galt Annals xiv.:
But, och how! this was the last happy summer that we had.
Abd. 1826 D. Anderson Poems 104:
Indeed, the warle is at a height Wi' folly an' vice — oh shon!
Sc. 1827 G. R. Kinloch Ballads 255:
Monie a lady fair Siching and crying, Och how!
Edb. 1844 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie x.:
Och-on och-rie, Och-on och-rie I'm weary sad and lone.
Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 134:
“Ochone, ochone, laird,” cried Fleeman.
Kcb. 1899 Crockett Kit Kennedy xix.:
“Ochanee-ochanee!” she said softly to herself, using the old half-Erse keening cry of Galloway.
Cai. 1907 County of Cai. (Horne) 80:
Ochanee got I — “Ochanee” quoth I, — an ejaculation of surprise.
Inv. 1931 I. Macpherson Shepherd's Calendar 224:
Molly, tell him to haud up his dowie head. Ochanee, we'll be bonny and merry this fine night.

II. v. To say och! Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) xviii.:
[I] heard the spittin' , an' the ochin' an' ayin'.

[Gael., Ir. och, id., also ocha(i)n, ochan-i, och is och, ochoin (fhein), ochoin a ri, etc.]

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"Och interj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Oct 2020 <>



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