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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DRAUCHT, Dracut, n. and v. Also †drawght. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. draught, draft. [drɑ(:)xt, drɒ:-, -ft]

I. n.

1. An act or turn of drawing or pulling (a plough, etc.).Ork. 1779 P. Fea MS. Diary (3 March):
Sown the long land and Lantea and harrowed it 18 drawght each.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xliv.:
Gin they've ta'en up their yokin' straucht an' fair, they can luik back wi' a kin' o' contentment upo' the wark that's deen, min'in' . . . that ithers sud be layin' their shooders to the draucht.

2. (1) A load (Sh.10, Abd., Ags. (per Abd.27) 1949; Gall. 1900 E.D.D.). Also fig. Obs. in Eng. since 15th cent.Cai.7 1940:
A dracht o peits = a creel load of peats.
Abd. 1923 J. Lawrence in Bnffsh. Jnl. (10 April) 3:
Reaching home with a “draucht,” we reported to Mr Grant concerning the conditions on the field.
Gsw. 1717 Records Trades Ho. (1934) 41:
For two draughts of daills to the Cowlairs . . . £0. 14.0.
Gsw. 1860 J. Young Lays from Poorhouse 89:
Till gallant brutes could pinchly draw Their drauchts alang.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae Clyde and Tweed 9:
The restin' 'oor in the stookit bield, The crack, an' the lilted sang Are things, yince felt, that only daith At the last draucht cairts away.

(2) Two or more cart-loads of anything brought at one time (Cai. 1900 E.D.D., Bnff.2, Abd.9 1940).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 41:
The man's at the shore for a draught o' waar.
Abd. 1915 H. Beaton Back o' Benachie 27:
When the corn “wis a' rickit” or “intae hooicks,” there followed many a hard morning's work at the flail, to get the draucht of corn to take to Port Elphinstone. . . . A pair of carts rarely went to Aberdeen; a dozen or more would arrange to go together.

3. A team of horses together with the cart or plough to which they are attached (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.; Rxb.5 1940). Also in n.Eng. dial.

4. (1) The drawing of breath, breathing.Lth. 1918 A. Dodds Lothian Land 13:
Ye limmer, I wad nick yer dracht, An' lay ye deid.

(2) A convulsive inspiration (in breathing) (Bnff.2, Abd.2 1940; Fif. 1949 (per Abd.27)). Cf. Backdraucht, n. (2).Bnff. 1866 Gregor D. Bnff. 223:
He's unco sair caed wee a draught on's breath.

5. “The roll or swell that precedes a storm” (Abd. 1885 Folk-Lore Jnl. III. 53, dracht). Cf. Eng. draught, a current, flow.

6. A mill-race.Ork. 1768 P. Fea MS. Diary:
Nov. 14: Got most of the Miln dam bigid but no part of the Drawght.

7. A sheep, gen. female, selected or drafted from the flock either as being unfit for breeding or as being one of the best for the market, gen. used attrib. (Sc. 1855 J. C. Morton Cycl. Agric. (1869) II. 722; Bnff.2, Kcb.10 1940; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., Rxb.5 1940). Also in n.Eng. dial. The form is now gen. draft.Sc. 1849 H. Stephens Bk. Farm I. 213:
The lambs, dinmonts or wethers, drafted out of the fat or young stock are sheddings, tails or drafts.
Bwk. 1814 Farmer's Mag. (Nov.) 498:
The demand for Draft Ewes has been very good. Those of the Leicester breed brought from 40s. to 42s., few of which are left unsold. [p. 497, draught.]
Dmf. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XIV. 420, Note:
Draft ewes. The oldest ewes, drafted from the flocks in Highland situations, which are presumed to be in a hazardous state, if continued longer on their old pasture; but thrive well, when brought upon better pasture, in the lower country.
Rxb. 1798 R. Douglas Agric. Rxb. 207:
And, at both these last mentioned places, there is a fair in October for draught or cast ewes.

8. The entrails of an animal (Sc. 1825 Jam.2; Mry.2 1940; Bnff.4 1926; Ags.2 1940; Per., Fif., Lth. Wilson; Ayr.4 1928; Kcb.10 1940; Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., rare).Sc. 1782 Mrs Maciver Cookery and Pastry 63:
Scots Haggies . . . mince the draught and a pretty large piece of beef very small.
Edb. 1800 Mrs Frazer Cookery 79:
Make the haggies-bag perfectly clean; parboil the draught.

9. A feature, lineament.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 27:
For as her mind began to be at saught, Intill her face ilk sweet an' bony draught Came till it sell.

10. A ditch drawn to mark the boundary of a farm-holding.Cai. 1900 E.D.D.:
In former times the boundaries of small farms were very often very crooked and many had fields quite detached. About the middle of the 19th century the landlords generally divided the various holdings by ditches, to which the term “draughts” was applied very generally at the time, although not much used now.

11. A scheme, a plot (Sc. 1818 Sawers Dict. Sc. Lang.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 166). In use in Eng. 18th–19th cent., but orig. Sc.Peb. 1715 A. Pennecuik Descr. of Twd. and Sc. Poems 109:
I ken by thee that draught was drawn That honest Truth was so abus'd.

Hence (1) draughty, drachty, cunning, crafty, scheming (Dmf. 1894 J. Shaw in Trans. Dmf. and Gall. Antiq. Soc. 146); (2) draughtiness, cunning, artfulness.(1) Peb. 1793 Carlop Green (1832) II. 8:
Frae 'neath his bonnet, girdle braid, Wi' draughty dawts and deep Coaxed out hid thoughts.
Ayr. 1823 Galt Entail xlix.:
But for the devices of auld draughty Keelivin, he would hae been proven as mad as a March hare.
Slk. 1829 Hogg Shepherd's Cal. I. 233:
But ye're a cunning draughty man, and I leave the haill matter to your guidance.
(2) Ayr. 1821 Galt Ann. Parish xxvii.:
I then perceived the draughtiness of Mr Kibbock's advice.

12. †(1) In pl.: “light grain blown away with the chaff in winnowing” (Jam.2).Gall. 1810 S. Smith Agric. Gall. 114:
The quantity of oats consumed by a work-horse varies from fifteen to twenty-five bushels, if good oats are given; but as draughts are commonly given the quantity is proportionally increased.

(2) Pig-swill, hog's-wash (Per. 1915 Wilson L. Strathearn 188).Abd. 1920 R. H. Calder Gleanings I. 9:
She'll come to the draucht fan she's gane a filie teem.

13. The path along which a bowl is sent by the player. Used as the abstract n. of Draw, v., 13.Ayr. 1886 J. Meikle The Lintie 100:
[He] sent his bowl sailing down the back draught - the fore was spoiled by a badly played one of his opponent.

II. v.

1. To draw the breath in long convulsive gasps, esp. of a dying person (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Abd.27 1920). Cf. n., 4.

2. Of a horse: to train, to break in, to put in the traces, gen. in ppl.adj. drauchtit, trained, harnessed for work (Abd.2, Abd.9 1940). Also sometimes, by transference, of the ploughman. Cf. n., 3.Abd. 1929 J. Alexander Mains and Hilly 60:
Gin I hid hidden a bit beastie risin' three aw cud 'a' been drauchtit, an' wid 'a' sav't a gweed penny.

3. To line off land with the plough by means of straight furrows (Cai.7, Bnff.2, Ags.17 1940; Abd.8 (Upp. Deeside) 1917).Cai. 1911 D. D. in John o' Groat Jnl. (24 Jan.):
To dracht the neep lan'.

Hence drachtin'-pole, a pole used for drachting (Cai.7 1940).Cai. 1930 Caithness Forum in John o' Groat Jnl. (24 Jan.):
A sat as straicht as a drachtin' pole.

4. Ppl.adj. dra(u)chted, -it, drawn, in combs. (1) deepdrauchtit, far-, lang-, designing, crafty (Sc. 1808 Jam., deep-; Cai. 1900 E.D.D., far-; Cai.9 1939, lang-); cf. n., 11; (2) hame-drauchtit, see art. s.v.(1) Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 21:
Where deepdrauchtit doctors staun' Wi' lang tubes to hear you wheeze.

[O.Sc. has dra(u)cht, draught, etc., a load, from c.1420, a scheme, from 1456, entrails of an animal, from 1571, and in the attrib. sense of the n. (see I. 7), from 1459. The usages 12 (2) and, more doubtfully, 12 (1) may represent variant forms of Draff, q.v. The v. is not found in O.Sc. in any of the above senses.]

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"Draucht n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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