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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).

Loch, Louch(e, n. Also: loche, (looch,) locht, logh, loich(e, loigh(t; loucht, lowch(t, lough, lowgh. Plur. lochis, louchis etc. and Lowis. [Gael. (Sc. and Irish) loch. Cf. also Low n. (and Lowis n. pl.).ONorthumb. (Lindisf. Gosp.) has luh, perh. of Welsh rather than Irish origin, rendering L. fretum and stagnum, but on phonological grounds this can hardly be the source of the Scottish word. On the other hand it is possible that the history of the latter partly coincides with north midl. and north. ME. louh, lough (Manning), lowgh, logh (north., c 1400), and e.m.E. and mod. Eng. and mod. north. Eng. dial. and place-names lough(e (also lowf), which also seems difficult to derive from the recorded ONorthumb. form and is perh. more likely to be from the Irish. If so, the Scottish word was doubtless re-inforced, if not re-introduced, from the local Gaelic. Similarly Anglo-Irish has logh, lough, reinforced from Irish Gaelic, from 1512.]

An expanse of standing water, a lake or pond; also, a more or less narrow or land-locked arm of the sea.As applied to inland lochs, these vary in size from extensive lakes down to large pools or ponds. In Douglas also applied to a pool which is the source of a river.(a) a 1325 Liber Calchou 362.
Incipiendo apud lé Blaklouch
1375 Barb. iii. 414.
Endlang the louchhis syd [supra Lowchlomond] … thai socht
Ib. xiv. 354.
This fals tratour his men had maid … The ysche of a louch to den
1466 Chart. Coupar A. II. 65.
Ad finem occidentalem parui lacus … nuncupati le blak lovch
1507 Treas. Acc. IV. 44.
To the louch drying for the garding to be maid [at Holyrood]
1513 Doug. iv. ix. 82.
Avernus the well … Quhilk lowch is situat at the mouth of Hell
Ib. viii. ii. 19.
[Tiber.] Quhar evir thy lowch or fontane [L. lacus] may be fund
1533 Boece ii. xiv. 89.
He … namyt it Innernes fra the rivere & louch fleting thareby
1533 Bell. Livy II. 165/22.
The invndatioun of the louch [v.r. loch] Albane
Quhil the wattir be ȝett furth of the louch of Albane
1534 Selkirk B. Ct. 185 (22 Oct.).
All infekit nowt to be put at the dry louch
1561–2 Edinb. Old Acc. I. 367.
Casting done of ane fousie biggit … at the Burro Lowch
a1585 Maitl. Q. lxii. 84.
Quhen that the Quene wes in the louche inclusit
plur. c1420 Wynt. vii. 1026.
Mony … in that chase In depe lowchys [W. lowis and stankis] drownyd was
1461 Liber Plusc. 382.
Baith stankis and louchis and waleis of montayns
1563 Peebles B. Rec. I. 72.
And all and sindry thair landis, … pasturis, lesuris, woddis, louchis, fischingnis [etc.]
1610 Misc. Maitl. C. III. .
The louchis of Lochlung Lochegoyll and Lochlowmound
(b) c1420 Wynt. vi. 654, 5.
Quhare he swa peryst is nowe … Bot a blak loucht [W. lowgh, lough; L. low] … And that blak lowcht [etc.]
1563 Grant Chart. 128.
The passaige of the loucht of Nes
(c) 1370 Reg. Morton II. 87.
Vsque le cragg superius de la blak loch
1427 Melville Chart. 245.
The said Johne … hafand fre vsche of water … fra the loch of Lochgelly
1502 Treas. Acc. II. 145.
To the fischair … that brocht … fisch to the loch and stankis in Strivelin
1535 Stewart 2982.
The watter about on euirilk hand Bayth laik and loch that wes in all that land
Ib. 36106.
That blude royall quhilk … Lyke ony loch maid all the fluir als weit
Ib. 39164.
On Forres loch tha ran
1581 Burne Disput. 200.
As gif it var in the grounde of the loche of Geneua
1587 Carmichael Etym. 28.
Lacus, a loch
1588 Crawford Mun. Invent. II. 191 (2 July).
The bigging of the clouse to mak your loch
1619 Old Kirk Chron. 88. 1680 Caldwell P. I. 138.
Thes are to give libertie to Lieutenant Cornell Cocharan to put a boat in the loch att Caldwall
1682 Irvine Mun. II. 299.
To Robert Miller for casting the goat leading to the loch
1687 Lauder Notices Aff. II. 784.
One of them was found drouned in a sack in the North Loch
plur. c1515 Kennedy Asl. MS. II. 273/25.
The moder se, fludis, lochis and wellis
1531 Bell. Boece I. xxviii.
This snout … be the crukin of it in the seis it makis two gret lochis
1528 Lynd. Dreme 821.
The lustie loochis, with fysche of sindry kyndis
1541 Reg. Privy S. II. 618/1.
The landis of Sauchquhy with the … fischeingis, cruvis, eill arks, lochs, tenentis [etc.]
1585 Reg. Privy C. IV. 17.
Hering and quhyte fishe to be tane … within Loch Lung, Lochgoile and certane uthiris lochis, caulis [etc.]
1596 Dalr. I. 13/21.
Twa gret bosums ar in the sey, quhilkes we commonlie call lochis of salte water
1607 Acts IV. 369/2.
Reserveand to Scottishmen thair trade of fisheing within thair loches, firthis and bayis within land
Ib. 373/2.
Oure souerane lord … , considering how dowcattis ar brokin, … mennis propir lochis and stankis heryit [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii. 146.
Na greene lint suld be laid in lochs or running burnes
c 1641–54 J. Gordon in Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 511.
Betwix thois two sea lochs, there is a freche water loch
(d) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii. 43.
A locht … As lyk a se … It is sa mykil, lang & brade
Ib. xx. 309. a1578 Pitsc. II. 176/11.
Thair was maid wpoun the locht of Airthour Saitt … ane castell
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 127.
About the locht betuixt thy hous and the hous of the said Mergie
1603 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 239.
The commoun locht of this burght
(e) 1614 Highland P. III. 155.
They have biggit ane new forthe in ane logh
c1610 Melville Mem. (1683) 21.
There was a little logh upon the south-west side of the town
c 1630 Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II. 145.
That fresh water logh which is called Loghaick
c 1685 Cromartie Corr. I. 45.
To bring provisions from all quarters within half a dayes march about that logh
plur. 1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 5.
Ther are in Southerland divers loghes or laikes, full of good fishes
Ib. 185.(f) 1568 Prot. Bk. J. Foulis MS. 61 b.
Doun the myddis of the loich to the hie mercat gait
plur. 1610 Misc. Maitl. C. III. .
That nane transport the Clangregour over Lochlung and utheris loichis
(g) 1555 Misc. Bann. C. I. 9.
Every port, ryver, loigh, creke and havein
1577 Hay Estimate Sc. Nobilitie 8.]
[Inche Myringe in Loight Lomonde
(h) 1682 Irvine Nomenclatura 125.
Lough Long, and a river of the same name which … falleth into that lough
1685 Sinclair Satan's Invisible World 166.
All the rats and mice followed him to a great lough hard by
plur. 1638 Adamson Muses Thr. 18.
And ye my loadstones of Lednochian lakes collected from the loughs
1633 (1711) Sibbald's Orkn. & Shetl. 55.
Here are two or three sterile loughs, or rather pooles

b. attrib.With dyk, end, maw (= gull), meall (= rent), medow, mouth, ridding, side, watter and in Locheid, Loch-leiche. 1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 319.
For steking up of the loch dyk
1513 Selkirk B. Ct. 26 b.
That all induellaris send ane servand … at the louch endis and plases abowt the bog qhar ned is
1534 Ib. 180 b (22 May).
Ane croft of land lyand at the louch end within the borrow rudis of Selkyrk
1569 Canongate Ct. Bk. 130.
Duelland at the North Loch end of Edinburgh
1665 Rothesay B. Rec. 94.
As for the meale of the fift pairt of the medow of the loch end
a1646 Wedderb. Voc. 16 (Jam.).
Larus, a loch-maw [ed. 1709, lough-]
1692 Conv. Burghs IV. 633.
The yearly annual rents, comon fauld deuties, … loch mealls [etc.]
1439 Haddington Corr. II. 231.
[Lands … called the] Caldraw [and the meadow called the] louch medow
1499 Prestwick B. Rec. 36.
The comite ordainit the locht medewe to ly vncastin in tyme cumin
1527–8 Selkirk B. Ct. fol. 135 a.
Betuiex the louch mouth and our ladis ȝard
1609 Hilderstoun Silver Mines I. 189.
For tuelf great naillis to the clowse at the loche mouth
1475 Ayr Chart. 90.
Versus orientem ad fossam nuncupatam le lowchridding
1375 Barb. iii. 109.
Ane narow place Betuix a louchside and a bra
1451 Exch. R. V. 457.
Per integras firmas terre de le Louchside
1576 Digest Justiciary Proc. I. 29.
Interrogat gif euer scho had spokin with him at ane loiche and watter syde
1670 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 75 (30 May).
They went up the loch syde to ane mos
1676 Rothesay B. Rec. 342.
To the other loning above the lochsyde of Ascoge
1607 Crim. Trials II. 536.
Cureing of his awin bairne with the said loche watter

c. fig. or in fig. contexts.(1) a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1029 (Asl.).
Bot in the louch of lamentacioun Thow sopit was
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. iii. 51.
Drownit in this loch of cair
(2) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4947.
Ane laithlye loch of stynkand lychorye
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4019.
Thow art ane loch of vnlawte, Ane schameles schrew
(3) 1551 Hamilton Cat. 158.
Thow … hes deliverit the presonaries out of the loch quhairin was na wattir [L. de lacu in quo non erat aqua; Zech. ix. 11 (Vulg.)]
1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. 207.

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"Loch n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 25 Sep 2022 <>



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