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

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Inch, n.2 Also: inche, ins(c)he, ynch(e. [Gael. innis. See also Ins(c)h.]

1. A small island. Sometimes as a general term, but most frequently in the names of, or with reference to, special islands.(1) 1198–9 Lindores Chart. 3.
Totam insulam que vocatur Redinche
c1420 Wynt. v. 5222.
Fra Culros be past ewyn To the Inche off Lowchlevyn
1450 Reg. Great Seal 79/1.
Illas terras regias vulgariter vocatas le Kingis Inche
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 261/13.
His fader foundit … the abbay of sanct colmes ynche
1497 Edinb. B. Rec. I. 71.
Thair sall thai … fynd botis reddie … to have thame to the Inche
1501 Acta Conc. MS. X. 116 b.
Clvny loch ynch and medow of the sammyn
1531 Bell. Boece II. 258.
Thir Danes … gaif gret sowmes of gold to Makbeth to suffer thair freindis … to be buryit in Sanct Colmes Inche
1567 Reg. Morton I. 29.
It wes devyssit to haue stollin men in Sanct Serfis ynche
1596 Dalr. I. 13/16.
Mony monasteries … sik as Dundrennen, … our Ladyes Inche
a1605 Birrel Diary 4.
The inch betwixt Leith and Kingorne wes voune … by the Frenchemen
1608 Reg. Great S. 738/1.
Cum … paludibus lie myris de Rossies, … lie inches et gallis dictorum lacus et paludum
(2) c1420 Wynt. v. 5224.
The kyng Brud … Mad till Saynct Serff donatyowne Off that Inche
c1475 Wall. ix. 1147.
In Lochlewyn thair lay a cumpane, apon that inch
1596 Dalr. I. 13/24.
In the sey selfe ar mony iles and inches nocht few
?1549 Monro W. Isles 22.
Be thir iles foirsaids thair is mony small ilands and inches in Scotland
c1615 Chron. Kings 157.
Thay mett in ane small inche be the sie
1633 Acts V. 86/2.
All and sundrie … salmond fishings, … insheis, sheills, and vthers liberties thairof

2. Locally, esp. at Perth and Aberdeen: A stretch of low-lying land near a river or other water. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 216/27.
This bargane was done on the north Inche of sanct Jhonston
1593 Aberd. B. Rec. II. 85.
The common Inchis of the burgh, quhilkis has been weill kepit and preservit
The saidis Inchis ar sa fleyne and tirrit, that … thair is na faill to be had thairin
1600 Acts IV. 304/1.
The kingis maiestie is loppin on, and riddin throwche the Inche [at Perth]
1638 Adamson Muses Thr. 49.
What mean these skonses, and these hollow trenches Throughout these fallow fields and yonder inches?
1675 Conv. Burghs III. 653.
[Granted licence to Perth] for setting furth of thair comon milnes, fishings, and Inches, for the space of nyne years
1675 Aberd. B. Rec. IV. 290.
For casting up … Sanct Thomas inche and the other inshes belonging to the toune wpon the south syde of the water of Die
c 1680 Coll. Aberd. & B. 416.
On a part of the said town [of Peterhead] called Keyth Inch, he did erect a strong castle … In this Inch I haue seen six hundred men in tents

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"Inch n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 27 May 2024 <>



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