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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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

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.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Middleton in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of Winning Poems and Stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 32:
" ... Ye're a tarry-fingered theivin vratch fa reived ma nut."

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 23 Jun 2024 <>



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