Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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POUCH, n., v. Also pootch, poutch, ¶puch. Dim. poochie, pouchie. Sc. forms and usages. [putʃ]

I. n. 1. A pocket in a garment (w.Sc. 1741 A. McDonald Galick Vocab. 19). Gen.Sc. Hence pouchfu, pouchle (Ags.), a pocketful. Also attrib. in combs. pouch-flap, -lid, a pocket-flap, poutch-pistol, a pocket pistol, pouch-room, pocket-space. Sc. 1721  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 23:
Cleek a' ye can be Hook or Crook, Ryp ilky Poutch frae Nook to Nook.
Sc. 1725  Ramsay Gentle Shep. iii. iv.:
He buys some Books . . . And carries ay a Poutchfu' to the Hill.
Ayr. 1789  Burns Second Ep. to Davie vi.:
Just the pouchie put the nieve in.
Ags. 1794  W. Anderson Piper of Peebles 15:
The short poutch-pistol that had shot Him dead, out-by a bit they got.
Per. 1805  Session Papers, Scott v. Carmichael (1 Oct.) Proof 42:
He had them [letters] in his pouch.
Ayr. 1822  Galt Sir A. Wylie ii.:
A carle that daunered about the doors wi' his hands in his pouches, and took them out at meal-time.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 263:
Waistcoats with pouch-flaps side on the thee.
ne.Sc. 1888  D. Grant Keckleton 8:
She [a watch]'s keepit time for me for the best pairt o' sixty years . . . I think ye'll find her weel worth pouch-room for some years yet.
Sh. 1896  J. Burgess Lowra Biglan 56:
Kirstie had him upo da but-room fluir and wis huntin troo his pooches.
Abd. 1913  Abd. Jnl. N. & Q. VI. 43:
There is nae paddin sae usefu as the kind that sets oot the pooch-lids.
Rxb. 1925  E. C. Smith Mang Howes 7:
A was vext A hedna socht a piece i ma pootch for ti mootle i the road.
Ork. 1929  Peace's Almanac 138:
I keep da bit o' breek here i' me pooch tae dicht my specs.

2. The pocket as containing one's money or cash, one's purse or finances. Gen.Sc. Hence comb. pouch-strings, purse-strings. Bnff. 1787  W. Taylor Poems 3:
Wi' a toom pouch an' plenishin' but mean.
Rnf. 1827  W. Taylor Poems 76:
Yer pouch did pay for a'.
Peb. 1836  J. Affleck Poet. Wks. 132:
Frae her pouch a crown she houkit.
Edb. 1843  J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie i.:
Glaiket lasses, wha will tug at my pouch-strings, and wheedle me.
Abd. 1910 13 :
Near deed never helpit the Kirkyard nor yet the bellman's pooch.
Gsw. 1913  J. J. Bell Courtin' Christina i.:
It's terrible to see the number o' young folk that winna walk if they've a bawbee in their pooch.
Abd. 1920  G. P. Dunbar Peat Reek 21:
For gin we'd siller in oor pooch, we wisna feart tae spen'.
ne.Sc. 1966  :
Your hinmaist gounie has nae pouches — i.e. you can't take your money with you when you die. Tae brak wi a full pouch — to go bankrupt after secretly retaining enough resources to start up in business again.

Special combs., phrs. and deriv.: (1) Benachie pooches, the front pockets in the trousers of a farm servant (Abd.30 1966); (2) dorty pouches, the sulks (Per. 1966). See Dorty; (3) granny pooch, a detachable pocket worn by women in the form of a little bag tied round the waist with tape; (4) half-past my pouch, an evasive answer to the question “What's the time?” (Fif. 1910); (5) leather pouch, jocularly, the stomach; (6) pouchless, adj., pocketless, fig., having no money, poverty stricken; (7) to be a' erse an pooches, of a stout man or boy: to have a big seat, to be broad in the beam (Abd. 1966). See Erse; (8) to hae (a person) in one's pooch, to have (someone) under one's surveillance or control; (9) to keep one's pouch, see Keep, I. 5. (13); (10) to lauch like a pooch (on pey-day), of persons: to laugh heartily, to wear a broad grin resembling the gape of a pocket stuffed with money. (3) Ork. 1959  :
The granny pooch with which I was very familiar was tied round the waist “wi trappeen” (tape). As I remember, it was worn under the apron and sometimes under a thin cotton or print skirt.
(5) Ags. 1966  :
Pit that in your leather pouch, = eat it.
(6) Mry. 1804  R. Couper Poetry II. 105:
Pouchless youth, pensive and blae, Press'd up life's weary, hopeless brae.
(8) Bnff. 1924  Swatches o' Hamespun 16:
I hidna Jimmie aye in ma pooch, bit gin he wis the rascal, I'se —.
(10) Ags. 1894  J. B. Salmond B. Bowden (1922) 103:
On Thursday, forenicht, he comes in, efter he'd gotten Donald stabled, lauchin' like a pooch.
Ags. 1948  J. C. Rodger Mary Ann 4:
So here she wiz, lauchin' like a pooch on pey-dey.

3. A pocket-like hollow made with a flap of loose skin when preparing a piece of meat for stuffing. Sc. 1826  M. Dods Manual ii. 31:
In roasting the hind quarter the flap of the loin may be stuffed, using the superfluous fat for the forcemeat. This is an old Scottish practice, which Meg Dods called, “makin' a pouch.”

4. A deep hole in the bed of a river, a Plumb, Pot (Fif., wm.Sc. 1966). Cf. II. 3.

5. The shag or cormorant, Phalacrocorax, from the distendible pouch below its bill (Sh. 1966).

II. v. 1. To put (something) into one's pocket, take possession of, either legitimately or dishonestly; fig. to steal, “pocket”, make off with. Gen.Sc. Deriv. poucher, a pilferer, petty thief (‡Abd. 1966). Phr. to pouch up, fig., to accept without protest, put up with. Sc. 1720  Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 149:
Shou'd London poutch up a' the Gear?
Sc. 1746  Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) II. 101:
The Prince catches a small coad, which he puch'd and immediately went hom, stood by till it was dresst for supper.
Edb. 1773  Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 190:
They pouch the gowd, nor fash the town For weights an' scales to weigh them.
Lnk. 1816  G. Muir Minstrelsy 5:
To pouch the wage they dinna seem unlaith.
Sc. 1820  Scott Ivanhoe xxxiii.:
I will pouch up no such affront before my parishioners.
Gall. 1824  MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 384:
I would as soon become a real thief at once as a petty poucher; . . . those who pouch at funerals are the most hateful race of pouchers.
Abd. 1826  D. Anderson Poems 19:
As mickle's I cou'd pouch or eat.
Fif. 1864  W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxiv.:
I pouched it on the sly.
Rxb. 1896  J. C. Dibdin Cleekim Inn xi.:
Gold, ay, ay; it may be, but pooch yer trash an' gang yer ways.
Edb. 1915  T. W. Paterson Auld Saws 80:
The chiels that rush the diggin's, May no bag a' the cunzie, Yet pooch a chunk or twa.
Abd. 1928  J. Baxter A' Ae 'Oo' 9:
An' pooch their easy fee.

2. To eat (something) greedily and with relish, to gulp down (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 132, pootch; Bnff., Ags. 1966); ppl.adj. pootchin, greedy, voracious, gluttonous; corpulent (Sc. 1911 S.D.D. Add.).   Gregor:
He's a greedy pootchin' boosht.

3. Ppl.adj. pooched, of land: badly-drained, full of subsidences and pockets of water. Cf. I. 4. Clc. 1952  Scotsman (9 Oct.):
If carse land drainage were affected, the land became “pooched,” wet and full of rushes.

[O.Sc. pouch, pocket, 1544.]

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"Pouch n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2019 <>



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