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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).

Souch, Swouch, n.1 Also: sowche, sough, swoch, swogh. [ME and e.m.E. swow, swough (Chaucer), swogh (c1384), sow (15th c.), sough (1616), f. as Souchn.2]

1. A rushing, rustling, whistling or murmuring sound, as if of wind, fire, etc.(a) c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 519.
The soft sowch of the swyr and soune of the stremys … Myght confort ony creatur of the kyn of Adam
1513 Doug. ix xi 100 (Sm.) (see Swecht n.).
1576 Crim. Trials I ii 53.
And within a schort space thai pairtit all away; and ane hiddeous vglie sowche of wind followit thame
1597 Buchan Cl. IV 200.
[The Devil disappeared] with a sough, like a flock of doos
(b) 1513 Doug. Comm. i ii 3.
Throw the swouch of the fir [= fire] may be persauyt … quhat part or art the wynd is fortocum
1513 Doug. ii xi 81 (Sm.).
Ilk swouch of wynd
1513 Doug. x ii 102.
Lyke as first, or wyndis blast be persave, The swouch is hard within the woddis waif
1513 Doug. xii viii 32.
Hark, heir the swouch [sc. of a storm] cumis brayand to the land

2. A state of sleep or trance. 1513 Doug. viii i 22 (Sm.).
The profund swoch of sleip [L. sopor altus] had thaim ourtayne
1614 Rep. Hist. MSS. 135.
He fell som what more quyett and in a swogh lyk a slomber

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"Souch n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 May 2022 <>



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