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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1971 (SND Vol. VIII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

SCUTCH, v.3, n.3 Also scotch. [skʌtʃ]

I. v. 1. To cut or shear with a hook or knife, to slash, trim a hedge (Sc. 1861 N. & Q. (Ser. 2) XI. 116; Cld. 1880 Jam.; Lth., wm. and sm.Sc. 1969).Ayr. 1866 Trans. Highl. Soc. 23:
More attention has been paid to the regular and proper scutching of the hedges.
Bnff. 1897 Banffshire Jnl. (28 Sept.) 7:
They [Irish reapers] used the smooth-edged sickle and their mode of shearing was termed cuffing or scutching, which consisted in striking the stalks with the sickle without grasping the cuts with the left hand.
Ayr. 1912 G. Cunningham Verse 59:
The cotman and the ditcher's gane — To skutch the dykes.

2. In Masonry: to dress a stone roughly with a pick. Hence scutching, scotching, the pick-dressing of a stone (Sc. 1946 Spons' Pract. Builders' Pocket Bk. 442); in Mining: to make a vertical cut with a pick in a coalface before wedging or blasting it down (Sc. 1886 J. Barrowman Mining Terms 58).Hdg. 1848 A. Somerville Autobiog. 144:
Each hewer had a labourer allotted to him to do the rougher work upon the stone with a short pick, technically to “scutch” it.

II. n. A slash, a cutting of twigs, thistles, etc., the trimming of a hedge (Cld. 1880 Jam.; sm.Sc. 1969).

[Appar. Sc. variant of Eng. scotch, to make a cut or score, to gash.]

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"Scutch v.3, n.3". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2024 <>



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