Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology Cite this entry

PREACH, v. Also preich; praetch (Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Wigtown 318), praich, prech (Abd. 1879 G. MacDonald Sir Gibbie lii.), praech (Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 3), praach (Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Benachie 26), prych (ne.Sc. c.1890 Gregor MSS.), preych (ne.Sc. 1891 A. Gordon Carglen ii.). Sc. forms and usages: As in Eng. Vbl.n. preachin, a sermon, ‡specif. one of the religious services leading up to and following the sacrament or communion service (Ork., Cai., Bnff., Ags., Per. 1966). Cf. 2.; also occas. a service held in the open air (Slk. 1966). Deriv. preachment in comb. ¶preachment timmer, a pulpit. Sc. 1776 D. Herd Sc. Songs I. 48:
At fair, or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching.
Edb. 1801 H. McNeill Poet. Wks. II. 70:
For fairs and for preachings I hae but ae gown!
Abd. 1809 J. Skinner Amusements 25:
There's nane o's a' Cou'd preachment timmer cleaner dight.
Fif. 1811 C. Gray Poems 75:
He aft gaed streachin', Sax, aught, or ten miles to a preachin'.
Ayr. 1820 Galt Ayr. Legatees vii.:
She was wont to attend the tent sermons of the Kilwinning and Dreghorn preachings.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 109:
On washing o' dishes too I'd mak a preaching.
Lnk. 1866 G. Mills Beggar's Benison I. 246:
On the Monday morning after the “preachings”.
Fif. 1887 S. Tytler Logie Town III. x.:
She had been in her place in Logie Kirk at one of the Tables on the occasion of each of “the Preachings”.
Sc. 1899 H. G. Graham Social Life II. 41:
When the concourses were great the preachings were held in the field or churchyard, where the preachers in succession took their place in the wooden erection like a sentry-box, called the “tent”.
Ags. 1927 V. Jacob Northern Lights 27:
Wha wad ken the dandy lad That, a' the preachin', socht ma ee?
Dmf. 1965 Dmf. Standard (24 July) 6:
The annual conventicle at Kirkbride takes place this year on Sunday. . . . The “preaching” amid the ancient ruins of Kirkbride Church was held regularly between the wars and was revived in 1957.

Combs. and phrs.: 1. no to be biggin kirks nor preachin sermons, of persons: to be engaged in nefarious activities, to be up to no good; ‡2.preaching day, the day preceding or that following the Sunday Communion service, when preparatory and thanksgiving services were held for the communicants. See also 4. and 5. below; 3. preaching hole, a hiding place on the open moorland formerly used or reputed to have been used by Covenanting preachers when surprised by their persecutors during a conventicle, the Sc. equivalent of the Eng. priest's hole, see quot.; †4. Preaching Monday, the Monday following the Communion Sunday when a thanksgiving sermon was preached. Cf. also 5. below; 5. preaching Saturday, the day preceding Communion Sunday (see 2.), when an introductory sermon on the Communion service was preached. See also 4. above; 6. preaching station, a building in an outlying part of a parish used for occasional religious services on account of distance from or lack of accommodation in the parish or central church; †7. preaching tent, a tent or booth set up at Communion time in the churchyard, from which assisting ministers preached while Communion was being dispensed in the church itself. See also Tent; †8. preaching time, the Communion season, when several days were occupied with sermons, the preachings. Cf. 9. below; †9. preaching week, the days occupied by the preachings (see above); 10. to gie (something) anither preachin, lit., to allow one more Sunday to go by before starting on some task or activity, to defer (something) over another week-end (Ags. 1953); 11. to preach in (an incoming minister), to conduct a service to welcome a minister to a new charge after his Induction. Gen.Sc. Hence n. preaching-in, the service so conducted; 12. to preach for onsesel, to advocate one's own cause in a hidden and underhand way, to promote one's own interest covertly (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems Gl.). Also to preach for one's ain profit (Cai. 1966). 1. ne.Sc. c.1890 Gregor MSS.:
He hizna been biggin kirks nor prychin sermons.
2. Per. 1831 Fife Herald (28 July):
On Sunday, the United Secession Church in Perth . . . observed the ordinance of the Lord's Supper without its being preceded or accompanied by what are called “preaching days”
Sc. 1885 A. Edgar Church Life 135:
The word thanksgiving, which was the name given to the Monday's service, almost implied that the Monday was a more joyous day than the other preaching days.
3. Lnk. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VI. 70:
There are several places in the moor which still go by the name of preaching holes, and which formed the retreat of the persecuted preachers. Into these they generally retired, while the congregation dispersed at the approach of the persecutors.
6. Dmb. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VIII. 31:
Owing to the crowded state of the parish church . . . a parish missionary has been employed for about two years. . . . His preaching station is at Faifley.
Sc. 1875 W. McIlwraith Guide Wgt. 86:
A preaching-station in connection with the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Stranraer.
7. Sc. 1807 J. Hall Travels I. 230:
The people passing to and fro, between the preaching tent, the church, and the booths of the suttlers.
Kcb. 1898 Crockett Standard Bearer xix.:
His full bell-like voice sounded out from the preaching-tent over their heads.
8. Sc. 1829 G. Robertson Recollections 107:
At the preaching time . . . from the assemblage of the assisting brethren, they [ministers] were more liable to incur family expense.
9. Sc. 1776 E. Topham Letters from Edb. 237:
During the Lent season they have a particular week, which is called, very properly, the preaching week; for they really do nothing but pray. This week is distinguished by every method of solemnity; and every person is expected to attend church constantly. The Sacrament is administered at this time. All the people of fashion wait for this week before they retire into the country.
11. m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood i.:
[He] had welcomed the new minister at the “preaching in” with a great show of good will.

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Preach v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Aug 2020 <>



Try an Advanced Search

Browse SND: