Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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PLASH, adv., n.1, v. Also plach.

I. adv. Splash!, with a splash (Sc. 1880 Jam.; Sh., ne.Sc., Ags. 1966). Sometimes used as an int. Sc. 1820 Blackwood's Mag. (May) 158:
The thunder-rain, in large drops, came plash after plash on the blanket roof.
Sc. 1842 M. Gordon Christopher North I. 31:
Plash, plash, through the marsh, and then on to the dry furze beyond.
Ayr. 1845 Ayrshire Wreath 138:
Lup, spring, plash, an' splatter awa they ran.
Rxb. 1847 J. Halliday Rustic Bard 259:
When gloamin' comes doon wi' its shadows dark, . . . An' yetts play jairg, and dubs play plash.
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128:
He fell plash in our the hehd amo' the wattir.
Sc. 1867 D. Livingstone Last Jnls. (1874) I. 172:
We go plash, plash, plash in the lawn-like glade.

II. n. 1. A splash (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128; I. and ne.Sc., Ags. 1966). Hence plashy, adj., causing splashes; of ground, cloth or the like: water-logged, soaking-wet (Sc. 1880 Jam.). Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Aeneis:
A plash, or the noise that any thing makes falling into water.
Edb. c.1770 R. Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 163:
Whase barkent hides scarce fend their legs frae weet, and weary plashes O' dirt that day.
m.Lth. 1799 Scots Mag. (July) 471:
Dang her mair than paces five Amang the water wi' a plach. Hech ho! co' she, for sic a smash.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 31:
Beath flew, bellie-flaught, I' the pool! — deil tak the hindmaist! Wi' a plash that night!
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xii.:
The plashy bogs an' mires o' sensuality.
Abd. 1824 G. Smith Douglas 46:
Ye've seen the sea rin a-elins wi' a dash, But soon come back, an' mak' a double plash.
Ags. 1827 A. Laing Archie Allan 11:
Thro' the lang eerie muirs, an' the cauld plashy snaw.
Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1863) II. 8:
Nae sound, but a bit faint, dim plash — plash — plash o' the tide.
Ork. 1883 Fish and Fisheries (Herbert) 334:
These [the smaller boats] were shallow, rudely constructed, “plashy” things, from 11 feet to 15 feet keel.
Abd. 1920 G. P. Dunbar Peat Reek 41:
Oh wad that I could hear the plash O' a hookit troot eence mair.

Combs.: (1) plash-mill, a fulling mill driven by a water-wheel (Sc. 1880 Jam.). Reduced form plash, id. See (2). Hence plash-miller, the operator of a fulling-mill (Ags. 1825 Jam.); (2) plash-wheel, the dash-wheel used in bleaching which in revolving alternately raised and lowered the cloth in water (Sc. 1882 Ogilvie Dict.). (1) Ags. 1795 Session Papers, Arbuthnott v. Scott (11 March) 234:
A plash or waulk-mill for washing yarn.
Ags. 1822 Dundee Advertiser (19 Dec.):
John Young, plash-miller at East Mill, was drowned in the river Esk.
Fif. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 IX. 385:
There is also a lint-mill for scutching flax, a plash-mill for washing yarn, and a spinning-mill for spinning tow.
Abd. 1868 G. MacDonald R. Falconer i. xviii.:
The plash-mill, or, more properly, wauk-mill — a word Robert derived from the resemblance of the mallets to two huge feet, and of their motion to walking — with the water plashing and squirting from the blows of their heels.
Ags. 1895 F. Mackenzie Glenbruar iv.:
I wish I could get something to do, Bob; at the plash or at the winding, or something o' that sort.
Ags. a.1900 Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. V. 264:
He was bred a weaver, but has also been a plashmiller and a packman.

2. A sudden sharp downpour of rain, a heavy shower, “thunderplump” (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Gen.Sc. Hence plashy, -ie, ¶plashrie, adj., rainy, showery (Sc. 1880 Jam.). Ayr. 1795 Burns Jockey's ta'en ii.:
Spare my luve, ye winds that blaw, Plashy sleets and beating rain!
Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128:
We've hid plashie weather for a day or twa.
Ags. 1894 F. Mackenzie Cruisie Sk. 202:
It has come on a sair plash o' weet, an' it'll be unco hard on some o' the stooks that bae sitten mebbe lang eneuch on the rig heid already.
Kcb. 1897 Crockett Lochinvar xxxi.:
A Heelantman's wife on the cauld, plashy isle o' Suliscanna.
Bch. 1929:
Cauld plashrie day, richt disagreeable!
Uls. 1929 M. Mulcaghey Rhymes 81:
And then the plash came on, and we Put on our coats and came away .

3. An insipid, tasteless liquid or drink, “a large quantity of anything liquid, as water, strong drink, broth, gruel, etc.” (Bnff. 1825 Jam.), “a quantity of ill-cooked liquid food” (Gregor). Deriv. plashach, id. For comb. tata plash, see Tattie. Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128:
They ga' 'im a plash o' drink, an' fill't 'im fou.
Ags. 1883 J. Kennedy Poems (1899) 106:
He ne'er set doun nae feckless trash, Nor soup made he — puir useless plash.
Mry. 1908 J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sk. 118:
A plashach o' tea an' loaf till't disna say bizz till a man body.
Uls. 1929 M. Mulcaghey Ballymulcaghey 200:
It's not lake now, with the people brought up on tay an' wan plash or another.

4. A shallow pool, a water-splash. Obs. in Eng.; a sticky, miry place. Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 98:
Your [a fly's] wings were fastened to a press, Amang some grease; 'Twas wae to see ye in sic a plash Without release.
Sc. 1842 D. Vedder Poems 196:
Ye'll trot the cannie auld grey mare Thro dubs an' plashes.
Ags. 1889 Brechin Advertiser (23 April) 3:
Mind weel yon plash, gae thro' the clash, An' be carefu o' your claes.

II. v. 1. intr. To splash, squelch, dash, cascade. Obs. or poet. in Eng.; specif. of rain or the like: to fall in torrents, lash, pelt down (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128; Sh., ne.Sc., Per., Fif., Lnk. 1966). Ppl.adj. plashin, squelching or splashing with moisture, soaking wet (Sc. 1825 Jam.). Also plashin-weet, id. (Gregor; Sc. 1880 Jam.). Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch xxi.:
The bleak bare fields — and the plashing grass — and the gloomy dull woods.
s.Sc. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 14:
The gowans white as they — Waes me! where are they a' to-day, And a' creation plashin'.
Bnff. 1880 Jam.:
It's been plashing for twa hours.
Gsw. 1898 R. Bain Glasgow Streets 17:
The rushes red plashin' wi' bluid.
wm.Sc. 1934 T. Smellie Mrs. Goudie's Tea-Pairty 19:
The plashan rain has knockit the colour an' music oot o' them [roses].

2. tr. To splash (a person, thing, etc.) with a liquid, to wet, drench (Sh. 1966). Ppl.adj. plashed, spotted with moisture, splashed. Vbl.n. plashin, a soaking, drenching (Fif. 1966). Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 59:
He . . . coaches owr the dubs to plash him.
Bwk. 1856 G. Henderson Pop. Rhymes 74:
The floor all plashed with blood.
Ags. 1894 A. Reid Songs 32:
Ken ye no' the glens are dreary, Plash't an pyket, broon an' bare?
Ork. 1904 W. T. Dennison Orcadian Sk. 6:
Some o' de whalls lep' half oot o' de sea, an' dan fell wi' a vellye, plashan' de bleud an' water aroond ever sae far.

3. To walk on water-logged ground, to squelch along through mud or the like (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128; I. and ne.Sc., Ags., Kcb. 1966). Sc. 1724 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 80:
Thro thick and thin they scour'd about, Plashing thro Dubs and Sykes.
Sc. 1746 D. Graham Writings (1883) I. 172:
Long eighteen hours this stage it was, Through a long Muir all wet to plash.
ne.Sc. 1884 D. Grant Lays 23:
Ye sud' a' seen us wade an' plash, An' heard oor shouts ring oot.
Sc. 1890 Whistle-Binkie II. 120:
Lampin' wi' yer lang legs, Plashin' through the rain.

4. To work in a messy, slovenly way, to mess about in liquids, freq. with at (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128; Sh. 1966). wm.Sc. 1854 Laird of Logan 381:
Wives plashin', washin', matched nae Water Nanny.
The twa bairns keepit a plashan oot our o' the wattir on o' thir daidles . . . She wiz plashin' an' washin'.

[O.Sc. plasch, a splash, 1513, to splash, 1681, with cognates in Mid. Du., M.L.Ger. plassen, plaschen, id, n., 4., however is prob. Mid.Eng. plasch, O.E. plœsc, a shallow pool, all from the same onomat. orig.]

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"Plash adv., n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Apr 2020 <>



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