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Partly from German rutschen (slide),[1] partly (especially in Pennsylvania Dutch English) from Pennsylvania German rutsche (slide; move around frequently), and partly (especially in Amish use) from Plautdietsch rutschen (slide).



rutch (third-person singular simple present rutches, present participle rutching, simple past and past participle rutched)

  1. (US, informal) To slide; to scooch; to shuffle.
    • 1916, Talbot Mundy, King-of the Khyber rifles: a romance of adventure, page 201:
      Then Ismail set the pace yet faster, and they became the last two of a procession of turbaned men who tramped along a winding tunnel into a great mountain's womb. The sound of slippers clicking and rutching on the rock floor swelled and died and swelled again ...
    • 1923, Adventure, page 44:
      Then, having salaamed the diwan obsequiously, he walked to the nearest gate with the heels of his loose sandals rutching on the gravel and dislike of exercise written all over him as if he were a Hindu merchant to the manner born.
    • 1989, Hildi Froese Tiessen, Liars and Rascals: Mennonite Short Stories, pages 211 and 217:
      Oata [] rutches herself over the middle of the seat []
      And I know for sure that I have a pink face because the stubble on my chin feels hot and Oata rutches her chair closer to me so she can pour the last wine from the catsup bottle into our glasses []
    • 1996, Fritz Leiber, Fritz Leiber's Lean times in Lankhmar, White Wolf Pub.:
      The twelfth had his chair half turned and was playing across a far corner of the table the board-game that made the occasional tiny rutching noises.
    • 2018, Talbot Mundy, Thirteen Books, B&R Samizdat Express (→ISBN):
      "Ponsonby, my boy." The man in drab silk slipped into a chair next to Kirby's as a wolf slips into his lair, very circumspectly, and without noise; then he rutched the chair sidewise toward Kirby []
  2. (especially Pennsylvania Dutch English) To squirm; to move around frequently.
    • 2010, Robert Struesel, He Said I Could: Extraordinary from the Ordinary, iUniverse (→ISBN):
      Sitting on hard wooden chairs in school didn't help one bit, and I had an especially difficult time sitting still in class. One of my teachers was quite versed in Pennsylvania Dutch, and kept saying, “Quit your rutching!"

Alternative forms[edit]

See also[edit]

  • ruche (to pleat; to bunch up)
  • ruck (to crease)
  • rootch (to root around, to rummage around)


  1. 1.0 1.1 rutch”, in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.