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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.

Kinch, Kins(c)h, n. 1 Also: kynch, kinche. [Cf. OF. cheance (also cance, canche, keance, keanche) fall of dice, throw or score at dice, also geter sa cance and conter sa keance, (whence F. chance luck, fortune, in mod. north. F. dial. also as cince): from the same source MDu. and MLG. have kanse, kan(t)ze in the same use.]

The fall of the dice, and the resultant score. b. fig., One's lot or fortune. Espec., to count one's kinch, ‘to reckon up one's score’, to appreciate one's true condition. 1490 Irland Mir. fol. 322.
As the dise, quhen it is castin fra a man, it can nocht fall bot on foure nukis, quhat kynch that euir it haue
b. (1) a1605 Montg. Sonn. xxxvii. 7.
My bygane joyes I can not get agane, Bot … I must byde the blast: I can not chuse; my kinsh is not to cast
(2) a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1100 (Wr.).
The man may able tine a stot Who cannot count his kinch
a1585, a1568 Montg. P. v. 32.
Bewtie sell nocht blind my eie, For I hawe leirnid to countt my kinch
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1577.
The Devil rowis in his cobil horne that casts the dyce and can not compt his awin kinsch
1606 Birnie Kirk-b. vii. 11.
Our heroick burials are oft led like a martiall triumphe … But, alas, if in death we could count our just kinsh, we might rather dismay and feare

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"Kinch n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 May 2024 <>



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