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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PLATCH, n.1, adv., v.1 Also plotch (s.Sc.).

I. n. 1. A splashing, a step or stamping movement in water or mud; a splash of mud, ink, etc. (Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Sh., m.Lth., Lnk., s.Sc. 1966).Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 114:
Every platch 'at he med skeetit it up and doon ower every ane 'at cam' near.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
A platch o' glaur.

2. A mire, a wet piece of ground (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 259, plotch). Adj. platchie, wet, muddy (‡ne.Sc., Rxb. 1966).Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 19:
The snaw-brui's strampeet inti a caald-broon platch.
Rxb. 1847 H. S. Riddell Poems 6:
The rivers roar frae bank to brae, And platchie are the moorlands aye.
Abd. 1932 R. L. Cassie Scots Sangs 25:
The shoggie bog we'll full wi' fale, Tho' platchie poach it be.

3. A large spot; a patch, of cloth (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128; Sh., Rxb. 1966), of land (Sc. 1880 Jam.); a clot (Gregor). Deriv. platchack, platsek, a large patch (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1908 Jak. (1928)).Gregor:
He hiz an ugly platch on's cheek.

4. A sloppy, messy worker (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., plotch).

II adv. With a splash, plop! (Sh., s.Sc. 1966).Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
Whan A took off ma drookit serk, it fell platch on the fluir.

III. v. 1. tr. To splash, bespatter, cover with mud (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 176; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Sh., Bnff. 1966); intr. to splash, drip, be soaking wet. Ppl.adj. platchin, soaking, sopping (Rxb. 1954 Hawick News (18 June) 7; s.Sc. 1966), comb. platchin-wat, id. (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Gregor:
He platch't his face wee ink. He platcht's claise wee dubs.
Rxb. 1895 J. B. Webber Rambles 50:
The storm couldna hae been mild For when I waken't ower my heid The sheaves were platchin'.
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.:
He platch't the ink owre 'is copy. They platch't 'im wi' glaur.
Rxb. 1961 W. Landles Penny Numbers 4:
My feet were fairly chorkin' Inside my platchin' shoon.

2. To walk through mud or mire (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 259).Sh. 1886 J. Burgess Sketches 107:
I sees Geordie comin' platchin' ower da guttery rigs, an' haddin' fur wir 'oos.
Sh. 1902 J. Burgess Shetland Folk 64:
Slavin' oot mi life kerryin' muck an' platchin' trouw da gutters o' Norderhus.
Rxb. 1904 Border Mag. 140:
Wi' slorpin feet, I platch an' slaiger home.
Fif. 1958 T. G. Snoddy Green Loanings 60:
Füles like this Plotch in the glar and owre the plew-honds hing.

3. To go about or work in a slovenly, sloppy way, to potter (Slk. 1825 Jam., plotch; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Sh., Per., s.Sc. 1966); to dabble in something messy or muddy (Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. X. 259); to churn up or mix porridge, jumble, make a hotch-potch (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Sh. 1960 New Shetlander No. 54. 19:
[He] aye göd platchin aboot da hoose wi a rid padded cott on.

4. To apply a piece of material to a garment or the like for the purpose of mending it, to patch, “to repair in a clumsy manner” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 128). Also in freq. form platchen, id. (Ib.). Vbl.ns. platchan, platchenan, clumsy repairing, botching; platchin, a large patch, spot, clot, etc. (Ib.).Gregor:
There's nae yse in 'ir keepin' sic a platchan o' (or at) hir man's quyte; for he's aible eneuch t' get a new ane.

[Of somewhat confused orig., partly onomat., partly an intensive variant of Plash, with influence, esp. in s.Sc., from Platch, n.2, v.2, and in certain meanings also prob. from patch. Cf. Clatch.]

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"Platch n.1, adv., v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 7 Jun 2023 <>



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