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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.

Heuch, Hewch, n.1 Also: huch(e, huych, howche; heuche, heucht, heugh(e; hewche, hewht, hewgh; hewith; hwe, pl. hewis, hewes. [Northern ME. (rare) hough, hogh (a 1300), OE. hóh, dat. , chiefly in place-names, appearing later as hoe. See also Cole-heuch n.Frequent as the second element in early place-names from a 1100 onwards in forms varying according to the date, as hoch, houch, hou, huche, hwch, hewch, heuch, pl. howys (1373).]

1. A precipice, crag or cliff; a steep hill.(a) a1500 Henr. III. 94/127.
Kepand his hird vnder a huche Amangis the holtis hair
a1568 Bann. MS. 137 b/45.
Ane crukit gloyd fell our ane huch
a1568 Scott ii. 156.
Sym lap on horshak lyk a ra, And ran him till a huche
(b) c1420 Wynt. vii. 508.
The Kyng than … Oure a hewch gert cast hym downe
1497 Treas. Acc. I. 332.
To the Kingis offerand in Our Ladie Kirk of the Hewch, in Sanctandrois
1513 Doug. III. iv. 41.
Ontil a caif we went, Vndir a hyngand hewch
Ib. viii. iv. 13.
Do behald ȝone schorand hewchis brow, Quhare all ȝone craggy rochis hyngis now
1535 Stewart 1368.
Ane citie … [that] stude rycht stark … Betuix ane watter and ane hingand heuche
a1568 Scott ii. 174.
Sum cryd the koward suld be keild; Sum doun the hewche he thrang
1571 Sat. P. xxviii. 160.
The Lord … Inspyrit thair spreittis, and gart thame speil that heuch
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 37.
Euery blome on branche and bewch … hang their heidis out ouir the hewch
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. i. 86.
Gif ane wylde or head strang horse caries ane man … over ane craig, or heuch, or to the water
1625 Garden Kings 61.
Be a fall, he perishes perforce, Born doun a hewche with an vnhandsom horse
1659 Melrose Reg. Rec. I. 237.
Ane bargane of wood … [growing upon] Tweid hewch
fig. 1585 James VI Ess. 62.
As in flyting and inuectiues, ȝour wordis to be cuttit short, and hurland ouer heuch
(c) c1420 Wynt. i. 545 (C).
Mony desert landis … Of hewynnis, hewis and of hillis
Ib. viii. 5736 (R).
Sum flede downe oure the hwe
1513 Doug. i. iv. 13.
Baith heir and thair stant large craggis and brais, To se the hewis on athir hand is woudir
Ib. iii. iv. 119.
By craggis and hewys of Itachia
1535 Stewart 634.
The wood, the watter, the hillis, and the hewis
(d) 1657 Balfour Ann. II. 385.
A heughe, a litle be east the foord
1658 Edinb. B. Rec. IX. 131.
Quher some people have latelie received damnage throw thir stormie braes, being blowen over the hewgh
1688 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. XIII. 249.
The horse fell over the heughes and brack his neck

2. A steep-sided glen or ravine; a cleugh. a1500 Henr. Fab. 737.
Then was hee blyth, and in ane heuch him hid
1549 Compl. 40/16.
Al the laif cryit in that samyn tune, as it hed bene ecco in ane hou heuch

3. A pit or quarry; a coal-pit. 1434 Reg. St. A. Priory 424.
Waltyr has grauntit … his maisteris qwarele leif in the huch of Kynkell, that is to say, to brek stanys and away lead
1504 Wemyss Chart. 123.
To tak vp the thrid part batht of colearis pannys and heuchis
1531–2 Reg. Soltre 196.
The huych of the Wemis outwith the paroche off the samen
1543 Carte Northberwic 64.
That he sall vin ane colpot … wythtin the bundis and manis ouder of the hewht or abay landis of Northt Berwyk
1574 Red Bk. Menteith II. 408.
To transport swm skailȝe fra the heuch in Menteith
1590 Edinb. B. Rec. V. 19.
To … bring in fra the heuch of Ravelstoun the staynes to the gutteris of the Kirk ruif
1592 Mining Rec. 65.
That his gracis subjectis micht hawe a securitie to tak thair hewis
1603 Philotus 974.
Be sanctis of heuin and hewis [v.rr. hewes] of hell
1610 Dundonald Par. Rec. 209.
James Lov, windesman at the heuch
1641 Acts V. (1817) 509/1.
Gaitismen quho workis the wayes and passages in the foirsaids hewghis
1693 Lanark B. Rec. 249.
To delyuer up a sufficient going heugh to the toune in caice he shall find coall

4. Attrib. with heid, side. 1539 Reg. Great S. 454/2.
Fra the said croce rycht south to the Mercat-gait on the heucheid
a1578 Pitsc. II. 135/28 (I).
Thair they buildit the fyre on the northt syde of the Abbay Kirk on the heuch heid
1611 Reg. Great S. 172/2.
Hortum super lie heuchside de lie giruall

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"Heuch n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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