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See also: scotch




Contraction of Scottish.

The chess opening is supposedly after its having been played in a correspondence game between Edinburgh, Scotland, and London, England.



Scotch (countable and uncountable, plural Scotches)

  1. (as a plural noun, the Scotch) The people of Scotland.
    The Scotch are a hardy bunch.
  2. (uncountable) Whisky distilled in Scotland, especially from malted barley.
    Paul has drunk a lot of Scotch.
  3. (countable) Any variety of Scotch.
    My favorite Scotches are Glenlivet and Laphroaig.
  4. (countable) A glass of Scotch.
    Gimme a Scotch.

Usage notesEdit

  • Use of Scotch to refer to the people of Scotland is currently deprecated by the Scottish.



Proper nounEdit


  1. The Scottish dialect of English, or the Scots language.
    • 1932, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sunset Song, Polygon 2006 (A Scots Quair), p. 156:
      But Rob was just saying what a shame it was that folk should be shamed nowadays to speak Scotch – or they called it Scots if they did, the split-tongued sourocks!
  2. (chess, informal, the Scotch) The opening 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4.
    Karpov played the Scotch against Anand.




Scotch (not comparable)

  1. (dated) Of or from Scotland; Scottish.
    • 1801, William Hanna, Memoirs of the life and writings of Thomas Chalmers (page 422)
      Behind all his assumed unsocialism there lay a true warm heart; nor could anything be kindlier than the welcome which, whenever they did come to him, any of his Scotch relatives received.
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy:
      our landlord informed us, with a sort of apologetic tone, that there was a Scotch gentleman to dine with us.

Usage notesEdit

  • The Scottish dislike the term Scotch and consider it offensive. The more preferred adjectives are Scottish or Scots.


Derived termsEdit