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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

TAUCH, n. Also taugh, tah-; ‡talch (Sc. 1879 P. H. Waddell Isaiah 7); talla, tallie, -y, tallan, -(l)in, -on, -ound (Kcb. 1700 Kcb. Sheriff Ct. Deeds (1953) II. 830), -own-. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. tallow. [‡tǫx; ′tɑlə; Sh. ′tɑlən]

1. As in Eng. Jam. differentiates tauch in its natural state from tallow when it has been melted down for use in candles, etc.Sc. 1736 Session Papers, Petition P. Moffat (2 March) 4, 6:
The Prices of Candles, which depends entirely upon the Prices of Taugh. . . . The worst Taugh yields less Tallow than what the best does, tho' the Tallow produced by both, when Rynded, is of the same Goodness.
Edb. 1805 Edb. Ev. Courant (5 Oct.):
Taugh was sold by Tron weight, merely to make allowance for the garbage or refuse, which was unavoidably mixed with it in slaughtering.
Nai. 1828 W. Gordon Poems 217:
Lasses' braws were spoil'd wi' tallan.
Sh. 1897 Shetland News (4 Dec.):
A'm no tinkin 'at dey'll be muckle talin apo da kye.
Sh. 1962 New Shetlander No. 61. 13:
A treacly duff med wi neer tallin.

Adj. tauchie, -y, tachy, ta(ug)hie, -y, tallowny, misprinted lauchty (Sc. 1823 C. K. Sharpe Ballad Bk. (868) 84), smeared with tallow or fat, greasy (Slg. (tauchty) 1972); sticky, humid, clammy, of weather (Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 443, a tahie day); of ice: slightly melted, no longer slippery for curling or skating (Rnf. c.1850 Crawford MSS. (N.L.S.) T. 93); of the skin: moist, greasy, damp with sweat (Ork. 1960). Hence combs. tauchy-eyed, rheumy-eyed, tauchey-faced, tallowny-, having a greasy, sallow face (Cld. 1825 Jam.), tauchie-raw, a bumpkin (Kcb.4 1900). Phr. a tauchy fleece tae scoor, a difficult job to do.Edb. 1700 Edb. Gazette (29 July):
A White Horse a little Paunch Mouthed and Tauchy Eyed.
Sc. c.1760 J. Maidment Ballads (1859) 38:
She had tauchy teeth, and kaily lips.
Dmf. 1823 J. Kennedy Poems 99:
Wi' tauchy cord to tie my feet.
Gsw. 1860 J. Young Poorhouse Lays 18:
Her stringless mutch stuck, gif the thing ye could mark, Aye close as a bir tae her daurk tauchie hair.
Sc. 1867 N. Macleod Starling xxiv.:
He has a taughy fleece tae scoor in this parish.
Ork. 1880 Dennison Sketch-Bk. 114:
Tae warm his tachy soles.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 223:
Nae great heart-break hersel', — awfu kin' o tallowny-faced an' coorse-traited.

2. Combs.: (1) brew-taugh, -tallon, tallow paid by tenants to a landowner for the privilege of brewing; (2) tallow-brod, a board smeared with tallow and drawn over the warp of a loom to make the (linen) threads waxy and stiff; (3) tally-lamp, a (miner's) lamp using tallow as fuel; a miner's lamp in its modern form (Fif., Ayr. 1972); (4) tallow leaf, a layer of fat round an animal's intestines: (5) tallow powk, a bag through which melted tallow was strained to clarify it; (6) taugh stock, a block or bench on which tallow is cut up; ‡(7) tallie-wheecher, = (3), so called from its rank smell (Fif., Lth. 1972). See Wheech, n.2(1) Abd. 1711–3 Third S.C. Misc. I. 21–26:
The Bailiff ordains the present brewers to pay £ four Libs Scots or a stone of brew tallon yearly . . . Each of the foresaid brewers by-run brew taugh.
(2) Fif. 1909 J. C. Craig Sangs o' Bairns 203:
He spak' aboot the “treddle-hole,” The “tallow-brod,” the “fan,” the “caums.”
(3) Fif. 1909 R. Holman Char. Studies 51:
He saw the twa o' them wi' a tally lamp learnin' their lessons.
Fif. 1967 Scots Mag. (Oct.) 8:
In the early days of the pit, the colliers used the “tally” lamp.
(4) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 443:
When an ox or sheep has a gude tallow-leaf it is considered to have fed well, and to be deep on the rib.
(5) Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 443:
People with tanny skins are said “to hae hides as din as the tallow-powk.”
(6) Edb. 1800 Edb. Advertiser (23 Jan.) 51:
One candle cauldron, one new wooden taugh stock.

3. Cord or string which has been smeared with tallow or other preservative; tarred string for tying heather besoms (Lnk. 1953); “a term used to denote the threads of large ropes” (Cld. 1825 Jam.).

[O.Sc. talch, tallow, 1424, Mid.Eng. talȝ, id. Cf. M.L.Ger. talg, talch. The forms talla, etc., derive from the oblique cases. Cf. Sauch, sallow, and for the forms in -n, cf. Minnon, Sinnon. O.Sc. talloun, 1485.]

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



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