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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

PAINCH, n., v. Also pen(s)ch; pinch-; panch. Sc. forms and usages of Eng. paunch. [penʃ]

I. n. 1. As in Eng., the belly, stomach (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems Gl.). In Sc. freq. in pl. the bowels, intestines, guts (w.Sc. 1741 A. M'Donald Galick Vocab. 22; Sc. 1808 Jam.; Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 371; Ayr., Uls. 1965). Also fig.Edb. 1722 C. Rogers Social Life (1884) III. 369:
The main avenue from the city to the mercat [was] lined with a most nauseous piece of tapistrie of . . . livers, painshes, sheepheads.
Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 69:
What poor cot-folk pit their painch in.
Kcb. 1789 D. Davidson Seasons 3:
Himself wi' penches staw'd, he [an eagle] dights his neb.
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 158:
De'il burst its [of a purse] gausy temptin' haunches! Its ruddy mou', an' yellow painches.
Bch. 1804 W. Tarras Poems 52:
Lankness through her painches rumml't.
Dmb. 1817 J. Walker Poems 89:
The earth was blythe to fill his penches, An' Heaven's keys hung at his henches.
Fif. 1841 C. Gray Lays 179:
Our lang runkled painches will now. like a can, Be stentit wi' brose o' auld Scotland.
Gall. 1901 R. D. Trotter Gall. Gossip 75:
Aul' King Jeshuran waxed fat, His painches doon did hang.

Comb. painch-lippit, -mouthed, of a horse: having protruding or pendulous lips, flabby-mouthed.Sc. c.1700 Sc. Mus. Museum (1796) V. 500:
She was cut-luggit, painch-lippit, Steel waimit, stancher-fitted.
Sc. 1712 Sc. Courant (13–16 June):
Stoln or strayed . . . a Gray Horse, 6 year old, docked in the Tail, Panch mouthed, a Ringle Eye on the left Side, and a Plaister on his Back.

2. Specif., gen. in pl.: the viscera in the form of food, tripe (w.Sc. 1741 A. M'Donald Galick Vocab. 22; Sc. 1808 Jam., penches). Combs. painch-market, jocularly for the stomach; p(a)inch-pudding, pench-, pensh-, a type of sausage made with short sections of the long bowel (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl.). Cf. II. 1.Sc. 1706 J. Watson Choice Coll. i. 23:
Panches, Saucers, Sheepheads. Cheats, Plack-pyes.
Ayr. 1787 Burns To a Haggis i.:
Painch, tripe, or thairm.
Edb. c.1796 H. Macneill Poet. Wks. (1806) II. 71:
Roasted hen, and collops plenty: And roddickins, and penches too.
Sc. 1829 R. Chambers Songs II. 396:
A wame of painches teuch like plaiden, With gude May butter, milk, and cheese.
Sc. 1899 R. Ford Vagabond Songs (1904) 154:
The haunches and the painches They quickly brought them in.
Ags. 1900:
Reply to a child's question of where food goes when swallowed: — ”Doun the reid brae and intae the painch-market”.
Kcb. 1900 R. Heughan MS.:
An old woman, on her death-bed said the other day “I cud dae fine wi' a dish o' pench.”
Sh. 1914 Old-Lore Misc. VII. ii. 74:
The reest of a well-to-do fisherman garnished by “tees” of mutton, “pensch” puddings, geese and “baunds o' piltacks” or sillock.
Ork. 1929 Peace's Ork. Almanac 139:
A bit o' penchis an' a bit o' butter or a cheese.

II. v. 1. As in Eng. Hence paunchings, penshens,, the intestines of an animal, esp. as used for food, tripe served in potato soup (Sh. 1866 Edm. Gl., 1914 Angus Gl., Sh. 1965). Cf. I. 2.Ags. 1890 A. Lowson J. Guidfollow 248:
They had prepared what they told him was a nice savoury dish of tripe. . . . The reputed “paunchings” were the clippings of a blacksmith's apron and some minced pieces of corduroy.

2. Specif.: to puncture the large stomach of an animal, esp. a ruminant, to allow accumulated gases to escape, to probe; vbl.n. paunching, the performance of this operation. Used fig., in 1887 quot.Sc. 1849 R. Chambers Information I. 599:
When the [cow's] stomach [is] so much distended with the air, that there is danger of immediate suffocation or bursting — in these instances the puncture of the maw must be instantly performed, which is called paunching.
Ags. 1864 W. D. Latto T. Bodkin xxxiv.:
Andro advocatin' the paunchin' system. while Mr. Haggie was clear for tryin' the effects o' a pint o' gin . . . before proceedin' to the extremity o' borin' holes in the puir animals' bellies.
Bnff. 1887 W. M. Philip Covedale xi.:
I would think it mair canny . . . to leave him in the hans o the Almichty till his tripes are well painched.

3. To take into the stomach, consume, imbibe, usu. with implication of haste or greed. Rare or obs. in Eng.Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 149:
If from paunching Bacchus' wine, Then they should a' be made to pine.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 385:
He . . . painched it every drop.

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"Painch n., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Mar 2024 <>



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