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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

LARACH, n. Also laroch, lairoch, lerroch, -ock, leeroch, leiroch. [′lɑrəx, ‡′lerəx]

1. A site, foundation, stance, esp. of the remains of an abandoned or ruinous building (Bnff., Rnf., Ayr. 1825 Jam., lairach, leeroch; ne.Sc., Per. 1960).Inv. 1756 Caled. Mercury (27 Nov.):
Item, a waste Rood or Larach in the Kirk-street, valued at 1200 l. Scots. Item, the Feu Duties of several Larachs within the Town of Inverness, to be set up at 376 l. Scots, being 13 Years Purchase.
Rs. 1762 W. MacGill Old Ross-shire (1909) II. 391:
Now I see they have fallen all ruinous … not better than larachs.
Rs. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XII. 273:
They have continued in the same possession and on the self-same Larach.
Cai. 1869 M. Maclennan Peasant Life Intro.:
“The larachs,” or building-stances, stretch along the road in prolonged disorder, for no feuing plan regulated the early years of the village.
Abd. 1872 J. G. Michie Deeside Tales 141:
An' George Brown used to tell that, when he was young, the larach was quite distinct.
Sc. 1905 R. B. Cunninghame Graham, ed. John Walker The Scottish Sketches of R. B. Cunninghame Graham 1905-1927 (1982) 43:
... those who, in their deer-skin moccasins, had journeyed in the past from the lone laroch to other larochs, which once had all been homesteads dear to the dwellers in them, ...
Sc. 1925 H. M'Diarmid Sangschaw 14:
Earth's littered wi' larochs o' Empires.
Bnff. 1925 G. B. Cumming A'anside Lilts 10:
The laroch o' the hoosie. Where I spent my laddie days.
Per. 1943 Scots Mag. (Feb.) 336:
The larach of what was once a ferm called Cronaherie.
Sc. 1952 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 403:
Everywhere the larochs of well-built little cottages falling away, tumbled tombstones to a vanished race.
Sc. 1976 Roderick Watson True History on the Walls 59:
I made long tunes
with subtle cadence and measure of my breath
going out (Ragas on larochs
at the head of a glen where three burns meet)
m.Sc. 1979 George Campbell Hay in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 85:
Heather will grow an' blade o gerss will grow.
There will be a returnin tae the larochs
an' they will hae the fences on the groond.

2. A site in gen., a place, stead or situation. Comb. midden-lairach, the site of a dunghill, a midden-stead (Bnff. 1825 Jam.; Per.4 1950).Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 139:
In its auld lerroch yet the deas remains.

3. The foundation of a hay- or corn-stack made of brushwood, stones, etc. (Slg. 1825 Jam.). Comb. stack-lairoch, id. (Per. Ib.).Abd. 1931 Abd. Press & Jnl. (2 Feb.):
In West Aberdeenshire words such as “hooick,” “stook-lairoch,” … are not now well-known.

4. A lair in a peat-moss. See Lair, n.1, 6.Kcb. 1705 Urie Court Bk. (S.H.S.) 113:
Ilke tennent keep ther owen larache and wnder moss dry and levell.
Ayr., Gall. 1825 Jam.:
Will ye gang a day to the Leeroch?

5. The collecting bed to which mussels are taken when gathered from the scaup (Rs. 1911).

6. A heap or collection of any kind of material, a mass of rubbish (Rnf., Ayr. 1825 Jam.).Lnk. Ib.:
A lairoch o' dirt.

[O.Sc. has laruche, = 1., from 1508, Gael. làrach, the site of a building, a ruin, a habitation, Ir. láithreach, ruins of a building.]

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



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