Dowgate Hill Brooch.jpg

Dowgate Hill Brooch. Probably German c.1000. © Trustees of the British Museum.

Ouch is an archaic term for an item of jewelry sewn onto a garment instead of being held in place by a pin. These were often gem-set with a bezel-like filigree edge. The bible references a pair of gold ouches, set with engraved onyx, sewn one on each shoulder and suspending a chain between them supporting a breast plate. Medieval ouches were worn as cloak clasps with chain suspended between them.

Also known as nouch, ouche and owche.