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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

STRAUCHT, adj., adv., n., v. Also stracht, straught; strecht, streight, straicht; ¶stricht (Bwk. 1880 T. Watts Woodland Echoes 63); ¶strauch (see III. 3.). Sc. forms and usages of Eng. straight. Straucht is now less common than straicht exc. in wm.Sc. [‡strɑxt, strǫxt; strɛt]

I. adj. 1. As in Eng. (Sc. 1808 Jam.; Per., Fif., Lth., Ayr. 1915–26 Wilson; Bwk. 1942 Wettstein; Rxb. 1942 Zai). Gen.Sc. Derivs. strauchtly, strauchtway(s), strecht-, advs., forthwith, at once. Now obs. or liter. in Eng.; ¶straughty-squinty, adj., straight and winding by turns, zig-zag.Sc. 1699 Edb. Gazette (20 Nov.):
Black brew'd, Dark straught Hair.
Edb. 1773 Fergusson Poems (S.T.S.) II. 165:
At first the gate seems fair an' straught.
Ayr. 1787 Burns Letters (Ferguson) No. 112:
A clean-shankit, straught, tight, weel-far'd winch.
Abd. 1865 G. MacDonald Alec Forbes lxvi.:
The tane's straughtways divorced frae the tither.
Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb ii.:
[To] keep baith laird an' tenan' straucht i' the theets.
Edb. 1881 J. W. McLaren Rhymes 41:
He strauchtly refused wi' a dry cauldrife grin.
Lth. 1882 J. Strathesk Blinkbonny xiii.:
It's a nasty strauchty-squinty bit.
Clc. 1885 J. Beveridge Poets Clc. 155:
Crookit, or stracht, or half-agee.
Lnk. 1890 J. Coghill Poems 9:
Strauchtway I saw wi' spiritual e'e.
e.Lth. 1896 J. Lumsden Battles 155:
Sae strechtway, then, he order'd Johnie To gang direck and yoke the pownie.
Kcb. 1897 A. J. Armstrong Robbie Rankine 40:
Ordinary strecht-up chairs.
Cai. 1930 John o' Groat Jnl. (24 Jan.):
A sat as straicht as a drachtin' pole.
m.Sc. 1991 Robert Calder in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 139:
Weel kennt it is Eck bous for nane:
folk wee as he is nane. The faut
is Eck's that aye in snaw, wund, rain,
he bou'd til nobs: the price gey saut
wes that his back set stiff frae end til end
straucht as a pincil, canna bend!
Lnk. 1997 Duncan Glen From Upland Man 6:
It's into the lang straucht streetch o the driveway
and roond by the byre, biler-hoose, open sties aside the hen run,
and into the auld fairmyaird wi surroundin stables, bothie,
granary and milkhoose.
Abd. 1998 Sheena Blackhall The Bonsai Grower 61:
Bit I kent him as Faither. Sax fit twa in his stockent feet he stude, like a muckle respeckit granfaither knock, straicht an heigh an regular's the mairch o the meenit hauns ower its face: ...

2. Laid out as a corpse. Cf. IV. 2. (2).Dmb. 1715 in G. E. Todd Byeways (1900) 169:
[She] said she would rather be content to see him straight.

II. adv. 1. In a straight line, by the shortest way, directly (Sc. 1808 Jam.); in a frank, forthright manner. Gen.Sc.Sc. a.1714 Earls Crm. (Fraser 1876) II. 479:
He resolved to march straught over the moss towards them.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 62:
They'll swear't a lie straught frae his mouth.
Sc. 1834 Tait's Mag. (Jan.) 439:
I' the tanner's close, stracht fornent the roun' moutht entry.
Sc. 1879 Stevenson Deacon Brodie II. iv. 2:
He just speired straucht out, whaur it was ye got your siller frae.
Uls. 1879 W. G. Lyttle Readings 31:
She shud be ashamed tae luk a coo strecht in the face.
Rxb. 1921 Kelso Chronicle (12 Aug.) 2:
Hei should hae gane like an airra — deid strecht.
Ags. 1924 A. Gray Any Man's Life 39:
Where the hills rise ower Loch Lee, Straicht to the sky.
Sh. 1930 Manson's Almanac 195:
He laed 'is stracht ta Geordie's.
Bwk. 1947 W. Ferguson Makar's Medley 23:
“Is this the wey to Bunkle Kirkyaird?” — “Ay! strecht aheid.”
Abd. 1952 Buchan Observer (28 Oct.):
D'ye see that craw up the rig there! Weel ca' straucht till't.
m.Sc. 1979 Ian Bowman in Joy Hendry Chapman 23-4 (1985) 41:
they wis sittin' a' thegither,
some on their hunkers,
some wi' their legs straucht oot.
Abd. 1981 Christina Forbes Middleton The Dance in the Village 25:
Fin ma mither spiers fit I've been up tae
I can safely divulge ma plans
An' look her straicht in the face an' say:
'I wis only haudin' HANS!'
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 74:
but I hae tried, ettlin that ye winna forget
that aince ye read poems in Scots and some hit
straucht tae a hairt ye mebbe didna ken ye'd got.
Gif sae then here's nae blaflum, nor grouth yet shot.
Sc. 1991 R. Crombie Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 30:
The mither lat flee her Bible
Straucht at his narra face:
"An wad ye be a riever
And bring us this damned disgrace?"
Cai. 1992 James Miller A Fine White Stoor 109:
'The wind, boy, the wind. It leaves nothing alone. No even a kail plant'll grow strecht if ye dinna put a wall aroond it.'
Abd. 1993:
Nae dibber-dabberin wi him - he's aye jist stracht oot.
Sc. 1995 David Purves Hert's Bluid 10:
Wha's aucht thir buits? Wha's awe thae shuin
that's sperfilt on the fluir?
A've haed ma fill! A tell ye strecht,
A'l dae wi this nae mair.
Dundee 1996 Matthew Fitt Pure Radge 8:
straucht an smert
the ba is lowsed
sherp as a skelf
burlin aa weys
a buhlitt

Combs.: (1) stracht-edge, a wooden board running along the lower edge of a thatched roof (see quot.); (2) straucht forrit, -foret, adv. and adj., straight-forward, straight ahead. Gen.Sc. Hence straucht-forritness, straight-forwardness, honesty, integrity; (3) straucht-gaun, honest, sincere, undeviating; (4) straucht-oot(-the-gate), frank, candid (Ork., Ags. 1971). Cf. fair-furth-the-gate s.v. Fair, adv., 2. (2).(1) Abd. 1970 Studies to E. E. Evans 46:
A strip of wood might be laid along the roof, just above the eaves. In New Pitsligo this was called the “stracht-edge.”
(2) Sc. 1829 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) II. 176:
To keep up wi' the straight-forrit planet [i.e. curling-stone].
Abd. 1863 G. MacDonald D. Elginbrod iv.:
It's no richt clear to me whether it's a' straucht-foret or no?
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 106:
Men o' abeelity an' straucht-forritness.
Lnk. 1922 T. S. Cairncross Scot at Hame 39:
He aye drave on straucht forret On a true and even keel.
(3) Lnk. 1873 A. G. Murdoch Doric Lyre 48:
Ne'er let the contact o' the warld Your straucht-gaun purpose mar.
Sc. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's i. 5:
Better kent, e'en yet, For his gleg, straucht-gaun coonsel.
(4) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xxiii.:
He was aye a straucht-oot-the-gate callant.
Abd. 1912 G. Greig Mains's Wooin' 55:
Women never gie a chap a straucht-oot answer.

2. Immediately, without delay, at once. Gen.Sc.Sc. 1724 Ramsay Ever Green II. 235:
Straicht to the Schaw he spred his Wing.
Peb. 1805 J. Nicol Poems I. 30:
Straught in a gutter he fell flat.
Dmf. 1823 J. Kennedy Poems 45:
In this manner straught began.
Sc. 1827 Cruel Brother in Child Ballads No. 11. B. xiv.:
Up then cam the gay bridegroom, And straucht unto the bride he cam.
e.Lth. 1885 S. Mucklebackit Rural Rhymes 12:
Sae straucht I speir'd the hinds themsel'.
Ayr. 1892 H. Ainslie Pilgrimage 18 7:
Our wifie straught began to hirple.
Fif. 1895 S. Tytler Kincaid's Widow xv.:
To ride like the wind strecht to ane o' the shirras.
Abd. 1924 Swatches o' Hamespun 46:
As seen's ye got a wint, ye straucht cam doon.
Abd. 1996 Sheena Blackhall Wittgenstein's Web 14:
He didna unnerstaun straicht aff, fur he still thocht that, since she'd jist new-fand him, she micht mebbe wint tae smore him in bosies.
Sc. 1997 Herald 23 Dec 12:
Nou that's quite a poetic place name but somebody had the idea it wis jist the ignorant Glaswegians mispronooncin English an sae thon somebody (a cooncillor mebbe?) decided tae set things straicht - an twistit thaim!
Lnk. 1997 Duncan Glen From Upland Man 7:
new-baked scones and pancakes straucht frae the girdle.
And the scones and rowth o high-tea cakes that
gars your teeth watter.
Edb. 2004:
Ah went tae the pictures straicht fae ma work.

III. n. 1. As in Eng., a straight line or section of a line, a straight position. Hence phrs. aff, awa frae, to the straucht; out o one's straucht, out of one's way or sight (Abd. 1971): to take the straight, to measure in a straight line; in pl., strechts, used as an int. or call in the game of Guinea or tip-cat to demand a straight-line measurement from cat to bat (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.).Abd. 1796 Session Papers, Leslie v. Fraser (29 March 1805) 186–9:
Taking the straight, and leaving the small angles and turns of the bank unnoticed. . . . Said pier consists of three streights, the eastmost streight measuring about 416 feet.
Gsw. 1863 J. Young Ingle Nook 17:
We had an unco faucht In keepin' a' things to the straucht.
Ags. 1894 J. B. Salmond My Man Sandy (1899) 112:
That's what put ye aff the straucht.
Edb. 1916 T. W. Paterson Wyse-Sayin's xvii. 23:
Weisin straucht jidgment awa frae the straucht.
Abd. 1944 C. Gavin Mountain of Light III. ii.:
Get oot o' ma straucht.
Abd. 1961 Buchan Observer (7 Feb.):
The layin' o' tows for the strachts o' their feerin's.
Ags. 1990:
Aff the strecht: squint.
Edb. 2004:
Yon picture is oaf the straicht.

2. A strip or stretch of ground, a Straik (q.v., I. 13.), a district or vicinity (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.).

3. A period of dearth, a need or want, in phr. to kep a strauch, to meet a need, to serve a purpose or in an emergency. Really an assimilation to straucht of Eng. strait, a period of want or distress.Ags. 1949:
That'll kep a strauch or strecht some day.

IV. v. 1. tr. and intr. To stretch.Sc. 1818 Scott H. Midlothian xx.:
Mony a ane that sleepit as sound as a tap the night before their necks were straughted.
Sc. 1824 Scott St Ronan's W. xix.:
I am blithe to see you straight your legs on the causeway again.
Edb. 1856 J. Ballantine Poems 185:
She forced us still to eat Till our wee kites were straughtet fou.
Sc. 1894 S. R. Whitehead Daft Davie 243:
I couldna get my legs straughted.
Dmf. 1898 J. Paton Castlebraes 204:
I straughted tae my feet.
Sc. 1899 Glasgow Herald (3 April):
“To straucht one's legs,” to take a walk.
Sc. 1930 Scotsman (21 May) 16:
As soon I drapt and straughtet oot.

2. (1) tr. To make straight, straighten, lit. and fig. (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Uls. 1953 Traynor; Sh., n.Sc., em.Sc. (a) 1971); to smoothe, make plain and straight-forward, set to rights. Obsol. or obs. in Eng.; intr. for refl., of a difficulty: to sort itself out. Comb. strechtin pole, a pole in a series put in at intervals to guide a ploughman in making his first furrow, a feerin-pole (see Feer) (Gall. 1971).Sc. 1706 Burgh Rec. Gsw. (1908) 396:
They ratifie and approve of the said straughting, and declares the said dyck straughted as said is.
Dmf. 1715 P. Rae Hist. Late Rebellion (1718) 272:
The Magistrates bought up 100 syths, caus'd streight their Docks and fixed them on Shafts.
Sc. 1784 A. Wight State of Husbandry III. 461:
Every field levelled, and the ridges straighted.
Sc. 1823 A. Sutherland Macrimmon IV. 82:
The burn will be straughted frae head to foot.
Kcd. 1844 W. Jamie Muse of Mearns 70:
Some country chields . . . forgathered To straight some orra things.
Abd. 1862 G. MacDonald D. Elginbrod viii.:
May Him 'at woosh the feet o' his friens, wash us a' thegither, and straucht oor crookit banes.
Dmb. 1868 J. Salmon Gowodean 86:
Things further gleet will straight wi' sappy fare.
Ayr. 1890 J. Service Notandums 110:
I'll straught thy back for that yet.
Uls. 1900 T. Given Poems 144:
[The river] Micht weel bring honour tae oor friends In strechtin' oot its dimples In line this day.
Dmf. 1937 T. Henderson Lockerbie 31:
I thocht I wad bide till ye had gotten things strechted oot a wee.

(2) to lay out a dead body, arrange a corpse for burial by straightening the limbs (n.Sc. 1825 Jam.; ne.Sc. 1971). Used in pass. sense in 1780 quot.Sc. 1724 P. Walker Life A. Peden 76:
She straighted his Body, and covered him with her Plaid.
Sc. 1762 Session Papers, Wrights Gsw. v. Cross (15 Jan.) 14:
He sent a servant for a plank to straight the corpse on.
Ayr. 1780 Burns Ronalds of Bennals vi.:
The Laird o' the Ford will straught on a board, If he canna get her at a', man.
Rxb. 1805 Poems J. Leyden (1875) lii.:
I am actually afraid to inquire for anybody, lest it should turn out that they have for a long time been dead, damned and straughted.
Sc. 1819 Scott Bride of Lamm. xxiii.:
Hand of woman, or of man either, will never straught him — dead-deal will never be laid on his back.
Mry. 1828 J. Ruddiman Tales 219:
Let's to the straughten o' the limbs as lang as the suppleness lasts.
Gall. 1835 Fraser's Mag. (July) 13:
The widow herself was a dead and straighted corpse!

Comb. strauchting-buird, -brod, the board on which a corpse is laid to be straightened and composed (ne.Sc., Kcb. 1971).Sc. 1821 Bannockburn II. vi.:
Haste for the strauchting buird, or she'll thraw.
Sc. 1851 S. R. Whitehead Rose Douglas II. iv.:
Tummas put the straighting-brod against the wall.
Abd. 1891 G. W. Anderson Strathbogie 243:
The “vricht,” with his “strachtin-brod” and measuring-rule.
Ayr. 1896 G. Umber Ayr. Idylls 118:
The joiner carrying the straughtin brod under his arm.
Dmf. 1912 J. L. Waugh Robbie Doo 94:
His black coat and his strechtin' board.

(3) in plastering: to apply a second or smoothing coat, to produce a board finish. Cf. Strauchten, 3.Sc. 1833 J. C. Loudon Encycl. Archit. 468:
All the ceilings are to be properly straighted (made even or smooth with the edge of a board or float).

3. In vbl.n. pl. strechtin's = strechts s.v. III. 1. (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., everything's strechtin's). The form however may really represent strecht anes, -yins. Cf. Eendin's.

[O.Sc. straucht, straight, adj. and adv. from 1375, to stretch, a.1400, from Mid.Eng. straȝt, orig. pa.p. of strecche(n), to stretch (Anglian and North. O.E. ȝestrœȝt, as opposed to West Saxon ȝestreaȝt, which gives Mid.Eng. streȝt, Eng. straight and the strecht, straicht forms in Sc., O.Sc. strecht, straight, 1522).]

Straucht adj., adv., n., v.

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"Straucht adj., adv., n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 1 Jun 2023 <>



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