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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English ouche, from nouche, which in phrases like a nouche was re-analyzed as an ouche. From Anglo-Norman nusche, Old French nusche (with metanalysis), from a Germanic source; compare German Nusche.



ouche (plural ouches)

  1. (poetic) A brooch or clasp for fastening a piece of clothing together, especially when valuable or set with jewels.
    • 1903, A. W. Pollard (ed.), Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory (1485) , Vol.II, Bk. XX, Ch. XIV:
      Sir Launcelot had twelve coursers following him, and on every courser sat a young gentleman, and all they were arrayed in green velvet, with sarps of gold about their quarters, and the horse trapped in the same wise down to the heels, with many ouches, y-set with stones and pearls in gold, to the number of a thousand.
      1485, Syr Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Bk.XX, Ch.xiv:
      sir Launcelot had twelue coursers folowynge hym / and on euery courser sat a yonge gentylman / and alle they were arayed in grene veluet with sarpys of gold about their quarters / and the hors trapped in the same wyse doune to the helys with many ouches y sette with stones and perlys in gold to the nombre of a thowsand
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen, I.ii:
      a Persian mitre on her hed / She wore, with crownes and owches garnished [].
    • 1611, Bible, Authorized Version, Exodus XXVIII.11:
      With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold.
    • 1896, Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Story of Ung’, Seven Seas:
      There would be no pelts of the reindeer, flung down at thy cave for a gift, / Nor dole of the oily timber that strands with the Baltic drift; / No store of well-drilled needles, nor ouches of amber pale; / No new-cut tongues of the bison, nor meat of the stranded whale.