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catch

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catch v

Forms.
pres (exc 3rd pers sg): usu catch; often ketch; occas cotch, kotch, rarely caitch.
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pres 3rd pers sg: usu catches, ketches; rarely catch, ketch.
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past and past pple: usu caught; freq catched, cotch(ed), cotcht, ketched, ketcht, kitcht, kotch(ed); rarely catch, caughten, ketch, kutch.
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Senses.
freq with ~ on: To understand, comprehend.
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To ignite; to become ignited.
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usu with ~ on; Of food: to burn slightly, to scorch. NEng
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also with ~ up: To become pregnant, to make pregnant; hence ppl adj caught (sometimes with the implication that the pregnancy was inadvertent).
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Of plant seeds, oyster spawn, etc: to take hold (and begin to grow). Cf catch n 2
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To freeze. [OED 1879   →]
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To undergo or suffer (an unpleasant experience); to encounter an adverse condition (of weather).
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Of a muscle or joint: to experience sudden sharp pain. [ catch n 3]
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To assist in the delivery of (a baby); hence vbl nouns (baby) catching. Cf baby catcher n
1885 Med. World 3.107 GA, I . . have been in the business of “baby catching” for thirty-nine years, altogether in the country, and largely with the colored population on plantations in antebellum times. 1891 Amer. Homœopathist 17.288 OH, Having had some little practice in baby-catching we have found that these book directions are superfluous, not one mother in hundreds being able to provide all these things. 1895 Kansas City Med. Index 16.89, Everything seems all right, mother, father, grandmother, aunts and cousins crying with joy, and congratulating you on being such a good hand at catching babies. 1928 Peterkin Scarlet Sister Mary 208 SC [Gullah], Ma is done too old to be all de time gwine round a-catchin chillen for people. E ought to let somebody else do em now. 1931 Hannum Thursday April 19 WV Mts, I’m expectin’ you to catch me a boy! 1948 Hurston Seraph 84 sFL, Arvay was brought up to date on everything that had happened since she left. Whose babies Dessie had caught, and who were supposed to be the fathers. 1958 Austin Daily Herald (MN) 6 Jan 12/9, There was no golf course in town in those days and no swimming pool. Thus it was that the Doc’s principle exercise was obtained from catching babies and trimming his rose bushes. 1960 Williams Walk Egypt 56 GA, Now you can catch a young’un ’thout the rest of this stuff, but you got to have clean hands to do it with. [Said by a midwife] 1960 Hall Smoky Mt. Folks 45, I’ve catched them (babies) here. 1967 Fetterman Stinking Creek 88 KY, My dad cotched four hundred children. . . He was a midwife doctor. He went out on nights wasn’t fit for stock to be out to cotch a baby. 1968 DARE (QR, near Qu. AA30) Inf GA57, She caught babies. 1980 Post–Std. (Syracuse NY) 13 Nov sec A 10/5 seNY, “The safest place to deliver your baby is your own home,” he said. “It’s a thing of the future. It’s woman’s work. Men have no business catching babies.”
10  usu with ~ up or ~ out: To saddle or harness (an animal). chiefly Sth, S Midl
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11  To kill or bag (a game animal). [See quot 1981] AK
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12  To get, obtain. [Pacific maritime pidgins] HI Cf B11
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13  To arrive at, reach. Gullah Cf DJE catch 7
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14  See catch ’im v phr.
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