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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

CLEUGH, CLEUCH, Cleugch, n. Sc. forms of Eng. clough, which is now dial. in sense 1 and obs. in sense 2. [klux, kljux, sometimes also kjux (Lnk.3), see P.L.D. § 93.7]

1. A narrow gorge or chasm with high rocky sides. Gen.Sc.Sc. [1907] D. MacAlister Echoes (1913) 89:
An' leal folk here in cleuch an' gyll Maun hidlins won thegither.
Sc. 1990 Scotsman 24 Feb 4:
...said that some mountain-bikers seemed to have little knowledge of where they were, often had poor protective clothing and came along the cleuch at great speed, refusing to give way to walkers.
Abd.(D) 1917 C. Murray Sough o' War 9:
It's but his birn o' days That hauds him here by closs an' cleuch, Lythe haughs an' heathery braes.
m.Sc. 1982 Douglas Fraser in Hamish Brown Poems of the Scottish Hills 9:
Wi' mony a craig an cleugh,
The rouch hills, the teugh hills
That froun dour and grim,
The hie hills, the stey hills,
They daur ye to sclim.
em.Sc. 2000 Neil R. MacCallum in Alec Finlay Atoms of Delight 59:
Maisic heich the bens
sangs proggin the grund
a cleuch in atwein.
sm.Sc. 1988 W. A. D. and D. Riach A Galloway Glossary :
cleuch, cleugh a ravine, steep glen.
Slk. 1829 Hogg in Blackwood's Mag. XXVI. 49:
Ye maun gang up by the head of yon dark mossy cleuch.

2. A crag, rock.Edb. 1773 R. Fergusson Sc. Poems (1925) 62:
Cauld blaws the nippin north wi' angry sough, And showers his hailstanes frae the Castle Cleugh O'er the Grayfriars.
Peb. 1715 A. Pennecuik Descr. of Tweeddale 15:
Upon the Cleugch above the Church, there grows abundantly the Spignel or Baldmony abovementioned.
s.Sc. a.1870 H. S. Riddell Poet. Wks. (1871) I. 218:
Till they were caught two cleughs between, And could nae further flee.

[O.Sc. cleuch, cleugh, 1, a gorge or ravine; 2, the steep side of a ravine, a cliff, first date 1375; earlier in place-names, c.1190 (D.O.S.T.); n.Mid.Eng. cloghe, from O.E. *clōh (cf. Eneuch from O.E. genōh, Beuch from O.E. bōg).]

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"Cleugh n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 28 May 2024 <>



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