Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1960 (SND Vol. V).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LACHTER, n.1 Also lauchter; laachter (Sh.); lochter (Per. 1808 Jam.); la(u)ghter; lighter (Ork.); lafter. [Sc. ′lɑxtər, ′lǫx-, Ork. ′lɑɪtər, Rxb. + ′lɑf-]

1. The total number of eggs laid by a fowl in a season, also the clutch of eggs on which she broods (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Kcb. 1900; Cai. 1902 E.D.D.; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. Add., lachter, lafter; Uls. 1953 Traynor, laghter, lochter; ne., em.Sc.(a), Lnl., Uls. 1960).Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 68:
While thus she [a goose] liv'd his darling pet Her lachter's laid with which she's set.
Abd. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 71:
Quo' Grannie, trouth I wyte they're fresh, An' a' this season's laughter's.
Sc. 1833 Chambers's Jnl. (May) 136:
If I set my brood hen when thy [moon] waxing I see, I am sure that the lauchter will never misgie.
Bnff. 1869 W. Knight Auld Yule 71:
We biggit it again aneth A fir, and thocht it free frae scaith. And laid anither lachter there.
Dmf. 1899 Country Schoolmaster (Wallace) 339:
Their hens sit on a “lauchter” o' gude eggs.
Ags. 1931 Abd. Press & Jnl. (15 Jan.):
“Lauchter”, the number of eggs in a season's laying, is of common occurrence in this district (Montrose).

Fig. in phr.: to tell ane mair than one's lauchter, in relating a story: to expand or add to it (Rxb. 1825 Jam.).

2. A hatch or brood of chickens (Sh. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 132; Dmf. 1865 Trans. Dmf. & Gall. Antiq. Soc. 56; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., lachter, lafter; Uls. 1924 Northern Whig (Jan.); Sh., Ork., ne.Sc., m.Lth., Wgt., Rxb., Uls. 1960). Also transf. of other animals and human beings.Ork. 1930:
A lighter o chickens, o grices. A bonnie lighter o bairns she hed about her.
Sh. 1931 J. Nicolson Tales 87:
Her dutiful son, in his desire to promote swimming among henkind, had drowned her favourite “lachter” of chickens.
Sh. 1948 New Shetlander (Oct.–Nov.) 22:
Dey wir laek a klockin hen wi a laachter o' shickens.

3. A layer, stratum (Sc. 1808 Jam.); the site of a house. Hence lachterstead, a house site or foundation (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.); vbl.n. †lauchterins, small straggling fragments or wisps of a massy substance, e.g. left behind in clearing away dung from a midden. Cf. midden-lachter, -stead s.v. Midden.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 101:
See it ye rake the lauchterins o' the midden clean up.

[O.N. látr < *lahtr, the lair of an animal, from lag-, to lay, the orig. meaning being a place where something is laid or something which is laid.]

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

"Lachter n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: