Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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LATCH, v., n.3 Also leytch. [lɑtʃ, †letʃ]

I. v. To be slow or dilatory, to dawdle, loiter, procrastinate (Rxb. 1825 Jam., leytch; Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 101; ne.Sc. 1960). Freq. in ppl.adj. latchin, tardy, slow, lazy (Id.). Bnff. 1869  W. Knight Auld Yule 14:
Though a' are grievin' for a dance, The lads are latchin to advance, And wile their partners out.
Abd. 1923  R. L. Cassie Heid or Hert iv.:
An antrin craw that flees bye on sweir an' latchin' weengs.
ne.Sc. 1929  M. W. Simpson Day's End 36:
April's up an' buskit braw — Trig, an' gleg, an' unco thrang, For the jaud's been latchen lang.

Hence adj. latchie, -y, slow, sluggish, tardy, dilatory (ne.Sc. 1960). Also adv. Abd. 1922  G. P. Dunbar Whiff o' Doric 25:
When the daylicht creepit latchie up the caul', grey eastern sky.
Bch. 1929  J. Milne Dreams o' Buchan 42:
Afore the bairns an' latchy folk Kent faur their heids were lyin'.
Bnff. 1953  Banffshire Jnl. (17 Feb.):
The daylicht cam' creepin' latchie-like in.
Abd. 1958  Buchan Observer (29 April) 5:
We find latchy applied to a lazy-bones, or to a cow that is reluctant to let down her milk, or in short to anyone or anything that shows signs of not being prompt to deliver whatever may be the goods demanded of them.

II. n. Indolence (Gregor); an indolent, dilatory person, a dawdler. Bnff. 1866  Gregor D. Bnff. 101:
He's a mere latch wee's wark; he's eye ahin.

[O.Sc. lache, to lag, loiter, 1513, North Mid.Eng. lache, to be careless about, O.Fr. lasch(i)er, to relax, slacken. Cf. Fr. lâche, slack, without energy, cowardly.]

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"Latch v., n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Jan 2020 <>



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