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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Souch, Swouch, v.1 Also: souche, sowch, sough, suowch, swouch, swowch. [ME and e.m.E. souȝed p.p. (14th c.), swogh (c1400), sowgh (c1475), later mainly Sc., OE swōᵹan to move with a rushing sound (cf. also OE sweᵹan to sound).]

1. To emit a rushing, rustling, murmuring (etc.) sound.(a) 1513 Doug. i vi 155 (Ruddim.).
[Swans] As thay returne thar weyngis souchand iolely
1513 Doug. xi xi 138.
Than Opys … Throw owt the skyis sowchand [L. insonuit] fast doun slaid
c1590 J. Stewart 18/136.
[Hills and braes] Quhilks meid the vattir … Souche softlie sueit from euerie springing spout
1590 Crim. Trials I ii 210.
Fylit for the suffering of him selff to be careit to North-Berwik Kirk … as gif he had bene souchand athoirt the eird
1609 Garden Garden 92.
As she [sc. the Bogie] slides, shee soughs
(b) c1450-2 Howlat 171 (A).
Swannis suowchand full swyth
1513 Doug. v iii 76.
Thai sewch the fludis that swouchand quhar thai fair In sondyr slydis
1513 Doug. viii xii 38.
Fast fra forstammys the flude swowchis and raris
1513 Doug. xi ix 30.
The rawk vocit swannys in a rabill Sondand and swouchand with noys lamentabill
1513 Doug. xii xii 14.
Quhen that he [sc. the mountain] Doith swouch [L. fremit] or bray with roky quhynnys hie

2. To breathe noisily, sigh deeply. 1619 Sel. Biog. I 110.
On Thursday … he arose not out of his bed for signes of death being perceived in him, and he lay soughing
1619 Sel. Biog. I 110.
We were speaking at the bedsyde, thinking he was asleep or soughing to death

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"Souch v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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