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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1976 (SND Vol. X). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.

WAUCHT, v., n. Also waught, wacht; wauch, waugh. [wɑxt, wǫxt; wǫx]

I. v. tr. and absol. To quaff, drink deeply, take large draughts (of) (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Fif. 1973), freq. with advs. out, ower, up. Also fig. to inhale, drink in (air).Sc. 1728 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) II. 91:
How hearty went these Healths about! How blythly were they waughted out!
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 149:
Whar the Hempies reel'd in swarms, An' waughtit owre the whiskie.
Slk. 1831 Hogg Poems (1874) 361:
The raven's grown hoarse wi' the waughtin' o' blood.
Sc. 1841 D. Vedder Poems 78:
But now he's a dyvor, wi' birling and wauchin'.
Kcd. 1849 W. Jamie Stray Effusions 27:
Packman billies waught their ale.
Fif. 1853 J. Pringle Poems 101:
Deep may he waucht the inspiration O' the muse's hallow'd spring.
Sc. 1896 J. Kerr Golf-Bk. E. Lth. 499:
It's health to rove owre Gullane Hill, An' waucht o' virgin air your fill.

II. n. 1. A draught of liquid, a long pull, swig or gulp of any drink (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 274; Ayr., Dmf. 1950; ne., em.Sc.(a), wm.Sc. 1973). Also fig.Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 113:
Thirsting for Fame, at the Pierian Spring The Poet takes a Waught.
Sc. a.1783 King Henry in Child Ballads No. 32 xiv.:
She drank it a' up at a waught.
Ayr. 1788 Burns Auld Lang Syne v.:
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught, For auld lang syne.
Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality iv.:
Gie them a waught o' drink and a bannock.
Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xv.:
Davie brought me a hale bowie-fu' o' milk. ‘Tak a gude waught, goodman,' quo' he.
Per. 1857 J. Stewart Sketches 79:
A waucht o' pure water for me.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 67:
Wi' the snuff-box i' me left hand, and me right ready tae tak' the ither wauch.
Sc. 1893 Stevenson Catriona xix.:
I had a good wauch of milk in by Ratho.
Slg. 1898 J. M. Slimmon Dead Planet 32:
A waucht to him that tapped the rock And gar't you trintle!
Kcb. 1901 R. Trotter Gall. Gossip 401:
He lay doon afore the wal an took a gude waucht o't.
Rxb. 1925 E. C. Smith Mang Howes 13:
A waucht o waeter.
Abd. 1955 W. P. Milne Eppie Elrick vii.:
He weesh doon fat he wis ettin wi great wachts o' the clairet.

2. Transf. A deep breath of air, a full inhalation (Abd. 1973). Hence in Ayr. quot. used in a nonce sense of a draught, a breeze.Sc. 1838 Whistle-Binkie 39:
I'm sure 'twill do us meikle gude — a waucht o' cauler air.
Ayr. 1900 J. Veitch G. D. Brown (1952) 145:
To lie a' nicht i' the windy waucht, And the clear, cauld, mornin' rain!
Gall. 1900 R. J. Muir Muncraig 5:
The child did breathe waughts of salt air from the Forth.
m.Sc. 1917 J. Buchan Poems 64:
We'll drink great wauchts o' the scented nicht.
Abd. 1928 N. Shepherd Quarry Wood xvii.:
I wad jist like to howk a holie i' the earth an' get a waucht o' it.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 62:
Syne, he'd aye tak fower strides frae the door ben the lobby inno the parlour an send a cauld waucht o air innower, faniver he opened the door, garrin the flames lowp abeen the clags o dross an bankit peat.

[Orig. uncertain. O.Sc. has waucht, to drink in large draughts, from 1500, wacht, a draught, a.1600, poss. connected with quach, Quaich, n.1, v.1, but there are semantic difficulties. Relationship with Eng. quaff, earlier quaft, quaught, cannot be established.]

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"Waucht v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2022 <>



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