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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).

Kechin, Ketching, Keichin(g, n. Also: kechine, -yn(e, -ene, -ing, -yng, -eing; ketchyne; keicheing, keitcheine; (? erron.) kochin. [Var. of Kichin(g n.The change of vowel may be parallel to that (ĭ > ē) in Chekin, Mekill, Sekir, etc. ME. (midl.) has kechene (14th c.), kechyn, where the e is probably to be differently explained.]

1. A kitchen, the place, usu. in a house or building, where food is cooked. Also fig. in the wormis keiching = the grave.In quot. 1496, appar. a field-kitchen.(a) a1400 Leg. S. XXX. 430.
Bryng hame quhet, oyle or wyne, & nedful thing to the keching
14.. Acts I. 346/2.
For the fee of the clerk of the kechyn x lib., … for the fee of the ischear of the kechyne v li.
1428 Liber Aberbr. 58.
Alsua the said abbot sal haf ostillary, … that is to say, hal, chawmyr, kechyng, and butre
1496 Treas. Acc. I. 299.
For iij score of elne of cammas to be a kechin, … To Thome Tailȝour, for making of the Kingis kechin, xx s.
1532 M. Works Acc. II. 52 b.
Reparing of the Kingis kechin & court kechin quhair thai war failȝeit
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII. 72.
Ane hundretht and ten pundis for biging of twa kecheingis in the castell of Striveling
1545 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I. 424.
Tweching ane scuttall hoill in his kechene for clenging of his manse
c 1570 Lennox Mun. 276.
In the ladnar wnder the keching, iiij ladnar fattis
1586 Reg. Cupar A. II. 294.
Aill, brede [etc.] … furth of the stoirhousse, kechine, and cellaris of the said abbacie
(b) c1450-2 Howlat 704.
The boytour callit was cuke that him weile kend In craftis of the ketchyne costlyk of curis
1532 M. Works Acc. II. 51.
The … mending of the palice of Halyrudhous, stabilis, ketchingis, [etc.]
1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 5.
Ane … tenement … contenand hall, chalmer, ketching
c1650 Spalding I. 377.
This minister causit bring hame … burne for serving his ketching
(c) 1533 Boece xiii. xi. 523 b.
Bischop Adam … was brynt dispitefully in his awne keiching
1540 Lynd. Sat. 4460 (B).
He war far meiter for the ketching [: preiching, fleiching, teiching], Amang the pottis
1546 Treas. Acc. VIII. 460.
Clay to the flurring of the keiching and making of ane new furnes
1548 Ib. IX. 272.
For viij draucht of tymmar … to my lord governoures logeing … quhairof ane keiching wes maid aganis his gracis douchterris mariage
1571 Prot. Bk. A. Millar 8.
The keiching abone the clos and pend
1643 Thanes of Cawdor 285.
Ane skaill stair to the hich galrie abowe the great hall, entreing upe abowe the keitcheine
(d) 1543 Blackfriars Perth 230.
The wranguous ... away-taking ... furth of thair kochin, ane grete kettill
fig. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1924 (Cb.).
Quhen saull and bodie departit ar in twane, The bodie to the wormis [B. wirmis] keiching [v. rr. keitching, kitching] go

b. Allusively, with reference to the supply of provisions for one's kitchen. 1551 Hamilton Cat. 99.
That the kepar of the said benefice sall haif bot ane sober pensioun that the giffar of that benefice may get in the laif to thame self and thair keching
1562-3 Winȝet I. 8/4.
Of the approprying the Kirk landis … to ȝour awin kechingis
1558-66 Knox I. 181.
Butt it [the abbacy of Arbroath] was more proper (think the Hammyltonis) for the Governouris keching, nor for reward to the Dowglasses
Ib. II. 128.
Yf the poore … had thair awin, his keching wald lack two parttis and more, of that whiche he injustlie now possesses

2. a. An allowance of food carried or supplied as one's provisions. (Cf. Kichin n. 2). a 1400 Bute MS. fol. 172.
And it befal that a schip is at Burdews … the schipmen may bere syk kechyne furth as vsage of schip is
1531 Treas. Acc. V. 460.
Deliverit to Robert Wod to furnis twa of thir servandis that past to kepe thir vittalis in the Kingis schip to thare keiching iiij li.

b. Keching meat. = Kichin n. 2 b. 1559 Prot. Bk. N. Thounis (S.R.S.) 3.
And auchtene poundis money of Scotland for his fische, flesche, and uthiris keching meat

3. Attrib. (in sense 1) with akar, clerk, dure, knaif, man, rufe, toure, windo. 1542 Reg. Cupar A. II. 185.
Symon [Boyid] for the keichin akar xiijs iiijd
1567 Sat. P. viii. 43.
Maist like, sum myllare of ane myll Had maid the mater of the bill, Outher sum cuikis or keching clerkis
1490 Treas. Acc. i. 175.
To Wille Brown that kepis the kechin dure
1541 Ib. VII. 476.
Williame Galbraytht, grume of the kecheing dur
1543 Blackfriars Perth 230.
[They] brak thair kochin durre, and tuke off the fire the kettill with thair mete
 — c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 154.
I tuke na mair compt of ane Lord Nor I did of ane keiching knaif
1529 M. Works Acc. I. 123 b.
New keis … to the Kingis kichynmen and court kechynmen
1532 Ib. II. 54.
To the said kechin ruf … baulkis [etc.]
1503–4 Treas. Acc. II. 275.
To Johne Masoun, in pairt of payment of his task of the kechin toure in Strivelin
1541 Ib. VII. 474.
Debursit … upoun the theking of the … kecheing tour
1513 Ib. IV. 525.
ij [crukis] to the kechyne windo

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"Kechin n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jul 2022 <>



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