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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English quicchen, quytchen, quecchen, from Old English cweċċan (to shake, swing, move, vibrate, shake off, give up), from Proto-Germanic *kwakjaną (to shake, swing), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷog- (to shake, swing). Related to Old English cwacian (to quake). More at quake.

Alternative formsEdit


quitch (third-person singular simple present quitches, present participle quitching, simple past and past participle quitched)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To shake (something); to stir, move. [8th-13th c.]
  2. (intransitive, now Britain, regional) To stir; to move. [from 13th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, V.9:
      With a strong yron chaine and coller bound, / That once he could not move, nor quich at all […].
  3. (intransitive) To flinch; shrink.

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English quicche, from Old English cwice. Cognate with German Quecke, Dutch kweek, Middle Low German kweke.

Alternative formsEdit


quitch (uncountable)

  1. couch grass (a species of grass, often considered a weed)
    • 1658, Sir Thomas Browne, Urne-Burial, Penguin 2005, p. 21:
      we found the bones and ashes half mortered unto the sand and sides of the Urne; and some long roots of Quich, or Dogs-grass wreathed about the bones.
Derived termsEdit