Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

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

SKETCH, n.1, v. Also skaetch, skaitch, skitch; skee(t)ch, skeatch, skeitch, sk(e)ytch; skatch (wm.Sc. 1880 Jam.); erron. skutch. [sketʃ; wm.Sc. skəitʃ; Inv., Mry., Ags. skitʃ; Sh. skitʃ]

I. n. 1. (1) In pl. Two sticks or poles crossed near the upper end, in the cleft of which rests one end of the spile-tree or beam for hanging fishing-lines on (Abd. 1929); (2) a sawyer's trestle, = II. 1. Deriv. (3) (Sh. 1970).

2. A skate (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Ags. 1970).

3. The act of skating, a turn or spell of skating (Sh. (skitch), Ags. 1970).Ags. 1892 Arbroath Guide (27 Feb.) 3:
Comin' oot to ha'e a sketch on the pond.

4. In dim. and deriv. forms ske(e)tcher, ske(e)tchie: a broken piece of earthenware, a flat stone or the like kicked from square to square in the game of hopscotch (Rs., Inv., Nai., Mry., Ags., Per., Fif. 1970); gen. in pl.: the game itself (Id.). See II. 2.Abd. 1965 Press and Jnl. (13 April):
The quines laid by their skipping ropes and skeetchies.

II. v. 1. To skate (on ice) (Sc. 1825 Jam. ske(y)tch; Sh. (skitch), Ags. (skeetch), Per. 1970). Vbl.n. skeetchin, skating.Edb. 1788 J. Macaulay Poems 142:
Awa' to skaitch, or see the curling.
Fif. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxiv.:
An oor or twa's sketchin' on the ice.
Gsw. 1868 J. Young Poems 83:
Miles o' strong up-bearin' ice, 'Lang which to skytch, or whusk the whirlin' stane.
Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 38:
I'm gaen oot to the skeetchin pond to hae some fun.
Slg. 1901 R. Buchanan Poems 158:
The Loch, and the Leddies' Cut were bearing, and in fine fettle for skitching.
Ags. 1921 A. S. Neill Carroty Broon xix.:
If ye canna skeetch on wan foot, hoo do ye expect to skeetch on twa?
Bnff. 1925 W. Barclay Schools Bnff. 250:
When winter came “skutchin'” [sic] was a favourite recreation.

Deriv. ske(e)tcher, ske(y)tcher, sk(e)atcher, ¶-et, skaetcher, (1) a skater, one who skates (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., Ags. 1970); (2) a skate, ice-shoe (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Rnf., Ayr. 1948; Ags. 1970, skeetcher, -et). Phr. like death on skytchers, having a lean, gaunt appearance (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 165). See Death, I. 2.; (3) in pl.: two wooden legs joined together by a cross-bar on which a log to be sawn rests in a saw-pit, a kind of sawyer's trestle (Bwk. 1825 Jam.; Rxb. a.1838 Jam. MSS. XII. 200). Cf. I. 1. (2).(1) Rnf. 1790 A. Wilson Poems 196:
An' owre the Loch's clear frozen face, On skytchers thrang, in airy chace.
Ayr. 1828 J. Dunlop Curling 40:
The skeitchers fleeing cleave the air.
Sc. 1892 Royal Caled. Curling Club Ann. 79:
The pond look'd grand for skytcher's sport.
Fif. 1909 Colville 129:
Frozen pools in the woods resounded to the clang of the “skætchers.”
Ags. 1946 D. Twitter Tales 31:
Ed wiz a grand skeecher — no' me.
(2) Sc. 1741 Caled. Mercury (15 Dec.):
The best double stockt Skeatchers, high Steil'd sold by Thomas Henderson.
Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. iii.:
I thought sketchers were aye made of airn!
Ags. 1840 D. Mitchell Montrose (1866) 63:
To “catch podlies” at the pier, or use our skatchets at the “Cruizers”.
Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes xxiv.:
To get a new strap for my skatcher.
Ags. 1896 A. Blair Rantin Robin 43:
I sat on the ice lowsin Jamie's skeetchers aff my feet.
Ayr. 1913 J. Service Memorables 15:
What fun on the ice . . . skimming on our skytchers.
Ags. 1945 S. A. Duncan Chronicles Mary Ann 36:
Eez skeetchers is in my great-aunt Jezebel's jeely-pan.

2. intr. To skim along the surface of water of a stone (Lnl. 1947); tr. to throw a stone in this way, to play at ducks and drakes (Rs., Inv., Fif. 1970). Hence skeetcher, (1) the stone so used (Rs., Inv., Mry., Fif. 1970), in pl.: the game of ducks and drakes (Per. 1950); (2) the flat stone, block of wood, etc. kicked in hop-scotch, in pl. the game of hop-scotch (Inv., Nai. 1970). Cf. I. 4.

3. To walk with the toes turned out, to shuffle, drag the feet in walking (Ags., Lnl. 1947).

[The orig. meaning is a stilt, O.Sc. scatch, 1653, E.M.E. skache, Norman-Fr. escache, id., to which I. 1. most nearly approximates. For the senses of skate cf. the sim. semantic development of Du. schaats, a skate (also a deriv. of Fr. escache), from which this meaning has prob. been directly derived. Eng. skate is a back-formation from schaats, which was erron. taken to be a pl.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Sketch n.1, v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Apr 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: