See also: davoch
According to the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, “daugh” is a monosyllabic form of “davoch”, first appearing in the 16ᵗʰ century.
In Scotland, ? – 19ᵗʰ century, as far south as Inverness-shire, a unit of land. It is not certain from the sources whether this was a seed measure of land, that is, as much land as would be sown with 48 bolls of seed, or as much land as will produce 48 bolls (of barley?). The Second Report (page 15) records the “boll of bear's sowing” in Caithness as “an approximation to a Scotch acre, used as a measure for the payment of rent,” which is, from the name, clearly a seed measure, and from its locale and use likely to be a survival from a much earlier time.
In any case, the daugh was not a unit of geometrical area like the acre.
Second Report of the Commissioners...(1820), page 15.
DAUGH, s. A certain division of land, determined by its being able to produce forty-eight bolls, S. B. [Scotia Borealis, northern Scotland]
“The divisions of lands marked by pounds and marks, &c. are frequent in the lower parts of Scotland; but daughs and bolls are unknown any where south of Inverness-shire. Every daugh seems to have consisted of forty-eight bolls, which comprehended a greater or smaller district of country, according to the quality of the soil.” Agr[icultural] Surv[ey of] Invern[ess-shire, Edinburgh], p. 65.
I can form no other idea of this term than that it is the same with Dawache only used in a more limited sense.
An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language, volume II.
A New Edition, Carefully Revised and Collated, with the Entire Supplement Incorporated, by John Longmuir and David Donaldson.
Paisley: Alexander Gardner, 1880.
These daughs and bolls refer to an old standard of valuation of ground, not entirely forgotten. Every daugh seems to have consisted of forty-eight bolls, which comprehended a greater or smaller district of country, according to the quality of the soil.
General view of the agriculture in the County of Inverness...
London: Board of Agriculture, 1808.
Footnote page 75.
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