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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Murgeo(u)n, n. Also: murgio(u)n, morgeown, murgen. [Appar. var., with intruded r, of Mudgeoune n.] a. A grotesque movement of the body, a contortion, a piece of posturing or capering. b. A grotesque movement of the face, a grimace.Also applied by Protestant writers to the motions of the priest in celebrating Mass. c1500-c1512 Dunb. liii. 38.
Scho maid sic morgeownis with hir hippis For lauchter nain mycht hald thair lippis
1563 G. Hay Confutation Abbot Crosraguel 12 b.
But that he sees the murgeons played, a disguysed preist, somtymes pufting, somtymes blawing
1565 Gathering of the Halie Signes 28.
Neuertheles the principall aipis murgiouns are celebratit at the left syde of the alter
Ib. 29. a1605 Montg. Flyt. 416 (T).
With thair mowthis to the moone, sick murgeonis [H. murgions] they maid
Ib. 515 (see Mudgeoune n.). 1590 Burel Pilgr. i. viii.
Than out that come the akquart aip That murgens wont to mak
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 76.
The murgeons, singing
1693 Sage Fundam. Chart. Presb. (1695) Pref.
The murgeons of ane ape
1701 Fugitive Poetry II. xlv. p. 6. l. 147.
His murgeons and his cock't up chin Puts us in mynd of Harlequin

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"Murgeon n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 4 Feb 2023 <>



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