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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.

SKRAUCH, v., n. Also scrauch, scraugh, skraugh, scraach, skrach, skracke, and ¶scrough (s.Sc. 1879 W. Henderson Folk-Lore 255); erron. scrag (Clc. 1882 J. Walker Poems 91); and variants scraff(en). Deriv. ¶skrakle. [skrǫx, skrɑ:x]

I. v. To utter a shrill cry, to scream, shriek, shout (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 263; n. and s.Sc. 1970). Ppl.adj. scrauchin, skrakling, shrill, high-pitched.Slk. 1818 Hogg B. of Bodsbeck xii.:
Some fock may scraugh themsels herse.
Sc. 1819 Scott Leg. Montrose v.:
Come, gentlemen, don't let the tappit-hen scraugh to be emptied.
s.Sc. 1824 J. Telfer Ballads 69:
Their skrakling tongues were heard aneath, Like wyld geese in their flyghte.
Sc. 1829 E. Logan Restalrig iii., xiii.:
The bairn scraffening and skirling in her arms. . . . The screeching and scraffing o' the woman in white, and her bairn.
Ayr. 1892 J.C.C.B. A. Boyd's Cracks 10:
Like a goose scrauching in a fox's grip.
Ags. 1897 F. Mackenzie Northern Pine xviii.:
I carena though I never hear your scraughin' voice again.
Bnff. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 19:
There wis as muckle scraachin an' kecklin ye'd 'a thocht a' the hallach quines i' the destrick hid been aboot.
s.Sc. 1962 Southern Annual 18:
The scrauchin' an' the wailin' o' something that wasna exactly folk wi' claes on.

II. n. 1. A shriek, screech, a shrill or harsh discordant sound (s.Sc. 1825 Jam.; Fif., Lth. 1926 Wilson Cent. Scot. 263; Ork., n., em. and s.Sc. 1970).Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxiv.:
The scraugh of a clockin'-hen.
Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 198:
The old woman o'er the way To our cheer a scraugh gave back.
s.Sc. 1863 Border Mag. (Aug.) 117:
Last, Red-cowl gave a lauch, . . . 'Twas mair like a hoarse, hoarse scrauch.
Lth. 1884 Trans. Edb. Naturalists' Club 204:
This note, which is nothing more nor less than what would be termed in Lowland Scotch a “skraugh,” is his utmost effort at a love-song.
Ork. 1904 W. T. Dennison Sketches 6:
De wives wid raise a terrible skrach.

2. The corn-crake, Crex crex (Mry. 1844 Zoologist II. 513, skracke). See also Corn, n.1, 7. (18) (a).

[Imit. Cf. Skraich, Skreich.]

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"Skrauch v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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