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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

(Reche,) Reich(e, Rea(t)che, v. Also: reitche, reatche; ra(t)ch(e; ryche. [e.m.E. and ME reche(n, reiche(n, e.m.E. also reach; p.t. reighte, reiȝte (14th c.) (early displaced by northern forms f. Rek(e v.2) also rechid (1432–5O), OE rǽcan (also gerǽcan), p.t. rǽhte, OHG reichen. See also Rek(e v.2] To reach, in various senses.

1. tr. a. To extend (the hand). = Rek(e v.2 1. b. To hand (something) to a person, const. double obj. = Rek(e v.2 2. Also with non-material obj.a. 1581 Sat. P. xliv 51.
Nemrod, quha thocht to reich his hand Heich to the heauins
b. 1662 Highland P. III 13.
The yong man … reached her a cog with watter to drink
1685-8 Renwick Serm. 225.
He is reaching us this ground of hope

c. To thrust (a weapon) through (throw) a body. Cf. e.m.E. reach (forth a sword), in this sense (1592). — 1631 Orkney Bp. Ct. MS 78b.
The said John … brak the samyn [sword] and with the breaking therof reatchit it throw his awin arme

2. intr. a. To make a stretch with the arm. b. To extend in length. = Rek(e v.2 6. Also of non-material things. c. lit. and fig. To extend or reach as far as; to attain to. = Rek(e v.2 9.a. 1612 Burnett Fam. P. 216.
Lett her not … ratche fare and bewar of all thinges that may muche strane her bodye
b. 1657 Balfour Ann. II 124.
The table rached from the one end … to the other
1569 Sc. Hist. Rev. I 39.
Being suspected … to have bene a partaker off a … conspiracy I have thoght it convenient … to declair so far as my knawledge reacheth the whole discourse off the mater
1592 Warrender P. (S.H.S.) II 180.
Sa ar thay as far of as I wald nocht wis my short sicht or lyf sould reiche wnto
1612 Misc. Spald. C. II 283.
Sa far as our abilities may reatche
c. 1587-99 Hume 19/78.
The helping hands … diligent in doing ar quhair euer thay may reitche
1681 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. II 270.
So that the gauging of their mask-vats … cannot reach the true quantity of their brewing
proverb. 1630 Misc. Hist. Soc. II 256.
But it is dengerus to put the hand forder than the sleive can reich

d. To reche to, to try to attain (a purpose); to tend to; to try to do something. Cf. e.m.E. reach noun = an attempt to attain or achieve something (1590). — 1572 Buch. Detect. (1727) 59.
Quhairto reichit that curious intreitie to stay the Erle of Murray vith hir, … or quhat caus was thair to send for him?
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 668 (L).
Thairfoir I wis thame to be war And ryche [W. raschlie] not to run our far

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"Reche v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Jul 2024 <>



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