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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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About this entry:
First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BEUCH, BEUGH, n. [bjux]; Burns in Ye flowery banks rhymes bough with true.

1. Branch of a tree, a bough.Sc. a.1810 H. Hecht Songs from D. Herd's MSS. (1904) 92:
Birds on their beughs of every sort.
Sc. 1820 Marmaiden of Clyde in Edb. Mag. VI. 423:
While the brainches an' beuchs o' frusher trees War scatter'd on the win'.
Sc.(E) 1871 P. H. Waddell Psalms lxxx. 10:
Her beughs, they war cedars o' God. [A.V. And the boughs thereof [the vine] were like the goodly cedars.]

2. The limb of an animal.Ags. 1706 Mare of Collingtoun in J. Watson Choice Collection i. 46:
Who came and tuik her by the Beugh.
Borders 1808 Jam.:
Beugh. A limb, a leg.

fig. extension to a person.Bnff. 1866 Gregor D.Bnff. 217:
“Foo are ye?” “Ou, jist hirplin' awa; a'm jist an aul' eesless cripple beuch.”

3. (1) “The bow of a ship, or boat” (Mry.1 1925, Bnff. 1866 Gregor D.Bnff. 217).

(2) “The oar at the bow on starboard side” (Ags. (Arbroath) 1927 (per Ags.1)).

Combs: (1) Beuch-baak, the seat furthest forward in a boat.Bnff.2 1928:
Weysie wis sittin' on th' beuch-baak, pullin' wi' a' his micht.

(2) Beuchlon, “the rest for the rower's feet in the forepart of the boat” (Avoch, Rs. 1914 per Mry.2). [′bjux′lon]

(3) Beuch-oarsman, “the man who rows in the bow of the boat” (Bnff. 1866 Gregor D.Bnff. 217).

(4) Beuch-room, the further forward of the two compartments in the hold of a herring boat for containing nets, ropes, buoys, and any overflow catch from the main hold.Bnff.2 1928:
Wi hid a gran shot, wi' mair than half a score o' cran in th' beuch-room.

[O.Sc. beuch, bewch, a branch, shoulder of a person and animal, a limb, the bow of a vessel; O.E. bōg, bōh, arm, shoulder, hence arm of a tree, bough. The later development of bow of a ship (phs. from shoulder of a horse) is found in Ger. bug, upper joint in arm or leg, hock, bow of ship, Du. boeg, Icel. bogr, Dan. boug, Sw. bog, and is prob. due to Scand. or Du. influence. The sense of “limb” is Sc. See Alex. Scott (c.1568) ii. 157, 158 (S.T.S.): “Sayis, ‘William, cum, ryde doun this bra, Thot ȝe suld brek ane bwche.'”]

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"Beuch n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Feb 2024 <>



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