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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1960 (SND Vol. V). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

HAUGH, n. Also hauch (Sc. 1808 Jam.); †halch (e.Lth. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 II. 18); haw; and dims. haughie, hauchie. A piece of level ground, gen. alluvial, on the banks of a river, river-meadow land (Sc. 1782 J. Sinclair Ob. Sc. Dial. 193). Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. Also used fig. and attrib. Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 20:
land whaur gien choice the people turnt aboot,
wrung oot o spreit like onie saft cloot,
land o ice whaur wi sair hauch
the auld dee cauld, land o the drukken droch.
Edb. 1990s:
When Ah wis a bairn we aye played 'doon the Haugh', a lovely piece of ground by the Esk.
m.Sc. 1996 John Murray Aspen 4:
ahint thir hills
in amang the riggs an dykes,
haughs an howes,
there's bits and bittocks.
m.Sc. 2000 Bruce Leeming in Alec Finlay Atoms of Delight 91:
Doun i the haugh
dwammy wi haw flourish
a wumman greitin.

Phr.: to gang frae the hauch to the hedder, see Heather, 4. (4). [hǫ(:)x, hɑ(:)x; also, esp. in place-names, hǫ:, hɑ:]Sc. 1703 Chrons. Atholl and Tullibardine II. 7:
There came a fearfull speat Wednesday last, which covered the greater part of the haugh of Tullichmulin with sand and stones.
Rxb. 1718 J. J. Vernon Hawick (1900) 140:
Riding a race in the common haugh.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Fortunate Shep. MS. III. 114:
Bra' lang green haughs by ilka burn an' strype An' hazel-nutt heughs an' hawthorne berries rype.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (1925) 28:
Cauld shaw the haughs, nae mair bedight Wi' simmer's claes.
Ayr. 1786 Burns To W. Simpson xii.:
O sweet are Coila's haughs an' woods.
Mry. 1796 Sc. Musical Museum V. 503:
A bloody battle then began Upon the haws of Cromdale.
Inv. 1808 J. Robertson Agric. Inv. 12:
A gravelly soil, a sandy soil, the soil called haugh, and a clay soil, depend upon two united causes — the strength of the stream, and the lightness of the particles of which they are composed.
Dmf. 1822 A. Cunningham Tales II. 308:
Alas! alas! the bonnie haughs of Orr, and the fair holms of Dee, will be wasted on loons and limmers.
Sc. 1824 Scott Redgauntlet Letter iv.:
A haugh, or holm, of two acres, which a brook of some consequence . . . had left upon one side of the little glen.
Rxb. c.1885 W. Laidlaw Poetry and Prose (1901) 29:
Through daisied haughs, by ferny braes, The limpid, glittering streamlet strays.
Bwk. 1892 Proc. Bwk. Nat. Club 22:
If ye build it on the shepherd's haw, There it'll stand and never fa'.
Arg. 1914 N. Munro New Road xvi.:
The place they stood on was a haugh where clothes were bleaching.
Ags. 1915 V. Jacob Songs of Ags. 20:
But an auld man aye thinks lang O' the haughs he played amang.

Combs.: (1) haugh(ing)-gr(o)und, haughen- (Slg. W. Nimmo Hist. Slg. 580), low-lying ground, meadow-land by the banks of a stream (Sc. 1825 Jam.); (2) haugh-head, the upper part of a haugh. Common in place-names; (3) haughlan(d), = (1) (Fif. 1899 J. Colville Vernacular 13). Also used attrib.(1) Lnk. 1776 Caled. Mercury (11 Dec.):
About 108 Scots acres, of a rich soil, mostly haughing ground, pleasantly situated on the banks of the Clyde.
Slg. 1793 W. Nimmo Hist. Slg. (1817) II. 580:
The gravel and sand which is spread upon the clay, forms what are called our haughen grounds, that are most esteemed for corn and pasture.
Slg. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVIII. 130:
Then follows what is called haughing ground, such as is usually found upon the banks of rivers.
Lnk. 1795 Ib. XII. 34:
The haugh-ground is generally ploughed 3 and sometimes 4 years, for oats, and then allowed to lie as long in natural grass.
Edb. 1895 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 161:
As guid a bit o' haugh-grund for crappin as there was in the parish.
(2) Slk. 1835 Hogg Wars Montrose III. 12:
There will be sic a day on that haugh-head the morn as never was in Ettrick forest sin' the warld stood up.
(3) Abd. 1712 Fintray Court Bk. (S.C. 1935) 22:
To sow this present year an equal proportion of their haugh lands with pease.
Rxb. 1811 A. Scott Poems 19:
His braid fields o' haughland corn, On flood red tumbling waves are borne.
Lnk. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 VI. 458:
Superior in flavour to those produced on other soils, whether what is called dry-field or haughland.
Inv. 1952 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 346:
The reedy unproductive haughlands will blossom as the rose.
Abd. 1980 Allan Massie The Last Peacock 177:
He returned from Fiona's as the horizon shortened and cold mist rose heart-high in the haughland.
m.Sc. 1996 John Murray Aspen 5:
ower the dwammin haughlans fanklin,
in spate we tak on
wir lives lang syne.

[O.Sc. halch, halgh, etc., very common as second element in place-names from 1165, hawhe, c.1240, hauch, from 1457, haugh, from 1596, id., haucheland, 1674; O.E. halh, healh, corner, nook.]

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"Haugh n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Apr 2024 <>



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