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

  • intransitive v. Scots To fidget.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To move irregularly up and down.
  • v. To swarm (with).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shake; jolt; shake in order to separate, as beans from peas after they are threshed together.
  • To drive (cattle).
  • To shake; move by sudden jerks or starts.
  • To limp.
  • To be restless.


Middle English, perhaps from Old French hocher, to shake, possibly of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman hocher, Middle French hocher, from a Germanic source (compare Dutch hutsen, German hotzen). (Wiktionary)



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  • The novel that is, not just the citation.

    April 26, 2011

  • "At certain times of the year, particularly after the rainy season, they velvet mites'>velvet mites proliferated, and the grass around our house hotched with them."

    - William Boyd, Memories of the Sausage Fly (collected in Bamboo).

    Reading that Lanark citation from two years ago makes me want to go back and read it again.

    April 26, 2011

  • "Ye can always see more stars when you're in the country, especially if there's a nip of frost in the air, and these night the sky was just hotching with stars."

    - Alasdair Gray, Lanark, ch. 17

    January 19, 2009