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



Proper nounEdit


  1. (dated) 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 preferred adjectives are Scottish and Scots.
  • The use of Scotch was more widespread formerly, but is now generally limited to a few specific cases: Scotch plaid, Scotch whisky, Scotch broth, etc.


Derived termsEdit