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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.

DROUTH, n. and v. Also drooth, drowth, †druth. The forms drouth and drowth are now only in dial. or poet. use in Eng. Cf. Drocht. [druθ Sc., but Gall. + drʌuθ]

I. n.
1 Sc. forms and usages of Eng. drought. m.Sc. 1991 Tom Scott in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 43:
I sall gaird
ma faither's hoose
the wowfs agin,
the drouth agin,
the forers agin,
the coorts agin
I sall gaird
ma faither's hoose.

2. Dry weather, in phrs. (1) a dreepin' drouth, see Dreep, v., 5.; (2) a feedin' o' drooth, (see quot.).(2) Uls. c.1920 J. Logan Uls. in X-Rays (2nd ed.) vi.:
“A feedin' o' drooth” is simply “a feeding of drought” and is applied to fine mist or dew preceding fine weather.

3. Thirst. Gen.(exc. I.)Sc. Also fig. Also common in Eng. dial. Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 86:
Double Drinks are good for Drouth.
Sc. 1746 Lyon in Mourning (S.H.S.) III. 378:
We . . . were all seized with such a druth, that we were all like to perish before sunset.
Sc. 1821 Scott Pirate vi.:
There is the chapman's drouth and his hunger baith, as folk say!
Ork. 1995 Orcadian 14 Sep 13:
'You'll have to water them every day till they settle in,' she advised, but since they were planted there have been showers to slake the drouth in the soil, and they would seem to be surviving.
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 152:
But now a drouth was on him and a longing for company, and he drove to the village.
Abd. 1768 A. Ross Helenore 58:
Wi' the cauld stream, she quencht her lowan drowth.
Abd. 2000 Sheena Blackhall The Singing Bird 45:
Frae howff an office, wirkers takk their ease,
Ettin their denner piece neth kirkyaird trees.
Puir beggars heist their priggin cleuks fur alms
An clorty winos droon their drooth wi drams.
Dundee 1996 Matthew Fitt Pure Radge 8:
an the keeper stauns
at the creel o the goal
glaur on his pus
an his een bleezin
his mooth aa dreh
aff a drooth he canna
shak these days
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1839) xviii.:
And swig away at the small beer, that never seemed able to slocken my drouth.
Arg. 1993:
A've a wile drooth an A haena been oot for ower a month.
Lnk. 1927 G. Rae Where Falcons Fly ii.:
Biggar drooth is aye sairest on Biggar Fair day, an' a sair job hae I keepin' sic drooth in boonds.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Lord Daer ii.:
When mighty Squireships o' the Quorum Their hydra drouth did sloken.
Kcb. 1883 G. Murray Sarah Rae 49:
Oh, hunger it is ill to bide, And drouth is waur than a'!

4. A drunkard, one addicted to drinking. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1935 J. Muir in Scots Mag. (Aug.) 375:
A drouth, he was, but I'll say she was the driest stick a man could be tied to.
Abd. 1868 W. Shelley Wayside Flowers 126:
Let drivilin' drouths hoast out its praise, I'll lilt against them a' I can, And haud my twinklin' crusie up, To show the dignity o' man.
Ags. 1887 A. D. Willock Rosetty Ends 179:
Lookin' the picture o' a drouth in the horrors.
Gsw. 1936 F. Niven Old Soldier 219:
Many a good man had come out of the last war a drouth, and rum was his tipple.

II. v. intr. To dry (in fish-curing).Kcd. 1883 Fish and Fisheries (ed. D. Herbert) 112:
They (fish) are . . . set outside on frames to drouth.
Abd. 1911 “Viking” Fishcuring 98:
After they are drawn from the pickle the haddocks are laid upon “drippers” to “drouth”, as it is termed in Aberdeen — i.e., to be partially dried and put into shape before being spitted.

[O.Sc. has drowth, drouth, thirst, from c.1500; Mid.Eng. drouth(e), drowth, O.E. druȝað, druhhþe, dryness.]

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"Drouth n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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