Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A natural bed for oysters, consisting of gravel or crushed shells to which the oyster spawn may adhere.
  • noun The spawn of the oyster.
  • noun New England Clean trash or rubbish, such as string, paper, and cloth.
  • noun A person or thing not highly regarded.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Rubbish; lumber; stuff.
  • To apply (cultch) to (an oyster-bed). See culching.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The rocks, crushed shells, and other sea detritus that create an oyster bed, where oyster spawn can attach themselves.
  • noun figuratively The accumulation of small household items of little value. (New England expression.)
  • verb To prepare an oyster bed with such (culch) attachments.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps ultimately from Old French culche, couch; see couch.]

Examples

  • The young probably find a natural "culch" in the many shells, cockle and others, that strew the rock, sand, and clay.

    The Land of Midian — Volume 1

  • Minghella's movie is culture with a capital culch: it has ghosts playing Bach, a plumber who quotes Dylan Thomas and the kind of cinematography that holds a close-up of a white sheet on a clothesline, possibly signifying the Whiteness of Life.

    Ghostest With The Mostest

  • The young probably find a natural “culch” in the many shells, cockle and others, that strew the rock, sand, and clay.

    The Land of Midian

  • The theatre looks amazing, check out bngr's post (complete with pics) on culch. ie here.

    Irish Blogs

  • From the land of imitation Rolex, Ray Bans, Gucci and more, the roaming culch. ie correspondents give you the first of a scandalous series.

    Irish Blogs

  • No, I just never have anything decent and culch related to write about.

    Irish Blogs

  • Since “culch” can be read (or said) as short for “culture”, the website’s address is doubly apt.

    A culchie joins Culch.ie

Comments

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  • Sense 3 is often used in rural Maine (where I grew up in the 1970s) in the phrase "culch drawer," used to refer to that drawer in the kitchen where useful things like string, rubber bands, nails, wrapping paper and so on are collected. "Rubbish" doesn't seem to quite capture the sense of it - culch isn't stuff you throw out, it's stuff you keep because it might come in handy.

    I think this sense must have a different etymology from the word which refers to an oyster-bed. I always believed it to come from "cullage," i.e., that which is held out and kept for some purpose; but I don't have any evidence to support it other than the observation that the -age construction (stumpage, yardage, etc.) was in common use.

    June 25, 2009

  • (noun) - Great quantity of rain. --Jabez Good's Glossary of East Lincolnshire, 1900

    February 6, 2018