Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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WRATCH, n., v.2 Also waratch (Slk. 1824 Hogg Tales (1837) V. 175), weratch (Ags. 1853 W. Blair Aberbrothock 46); vratch (Abd. c.1782 Ellis E.E.P. V. 773; Fif. 1844 J. Jack St Monance 14; Mry. 1873 J. Brown Round Table Club 293; Abd. 1900 C. Murray Hamewith 20; Cai. 1939; ne.Sc. 1974), vrach (Bnff. 1905 Banffshire Jnl. (28 March) 3), vretch (Sc. 1834 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) IV. 187; Fif. 1844 J. Jack St Monance 177). Sc. forms of Eng. wretch (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 176; Sh. 1836 Gentleman's Mag. II. 591; s.Sc. 1837 Wilson's Tales of the Borders III. 82; Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxviii.; Wgt. 1880 G. Fraser Lowland Lore 170; Per. 1894 I. Maclaren Brier Bush 190; Sc. 1933 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 55; Sh., Ags., Fif., Lnk. 1974), dim. vratchick (Abd. 1929). Hence wratched (Ayr. a.1822 A. Boswell Poet Wks. (1871) 197; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein). [(w)rɑtʃ, ne.Sc. vrɑtʃ. See W, letter.]

Sc. usages:

I. n. A miser, niggard, mean covetous person (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Obs. in Eng. Sc. 1896 A. Cheviot Proverbs 46:
As lang lives the merry man as the wretch, for a' the craft he can.

II. v. To become mean or avaricious (Sc. 1808 Jam.); to act in a niggardly way towards, to underpay, cheat, stint. Uls. 1953 Traynor:
I was wratched of a shilling last time you were here.

[O.Sc. wreche, a niggard, c.1500, wratche, a vile creature, 1572, wretch, to be mean, a.1598.]

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"Wratch n., v.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 5 Aug 2021 <>



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