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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1934 (SND Vol. I). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

BAG, n, v.  Also bug ( ne.Sc.). The verb bag, to dismiss; and the phrases, to get the bag, to be dismissed; to give the bag, to dismiss, are in common use in Eng. and Sc., and verge on slang. Note the following Sc. usages. [bɑg]

I. n.
1. A small 1996 Graham Smith in Sandy Stronach New Wirds: An Anthology of Winning Poems and Stories from the Doric Writing Competitions of 1994 and 1995 63:
Its Christmas time an A'm a dug
Nae fir a while, bit fir life.
Fa wid've kent Ah'd end in a black bug
Nae for a while, bit fir life.
Abd. 1922 A. Tester in Bnffsh. Jnl. (19 Dec.) 7:

“Coals at fower shillin's a seck” is not Scots; we buy “coals at fower shillin's the bag.”

2. A poke, applied esp. to the wallet in which the beggar carried his provisions and goods.Ayr. 1786 Burns Jolly Beggars (Cent. ed.) ii.:
Weel brac'd wi' mealy bags.

3. The stomach; the paunch; the first stomach in ruminants.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Sc. Proverbs 38:
A man may love a Haggish that wo'd not have the Bag bladed in his Teeth.
Sh. 1914 Angus Gl.:
Bag, the paunch; the first stomach in ruminants.
Ayr.4 1928:
Is yer bag no fou yet?
Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B. 46:
Bags, the stomach; the entrails. The stomach as the seat of the appetite.

4. An epithet applied to a child, playfully or as a term of reproach.Abd.2 1932:
A fond Auntie fifty years ago might have tickled her wee niece under the chin saying: “O, you dear little bag,” or she might have said of a boy: “That loon's a coorse bag.”
[See Baggit, n., and Baglin.]

5. The bagpipes.Sc. 1816 Scott O. Mortality iv.:
But in nae event cry on me, for I am wearied wi' doudling the bag o' wind a' day, and I am gaun to eat my dinner quietly in the spence.
Mearns 1844 W. Jamie Muse of the Mearns 102:
He quickly gied the bags a hease, The chanter round did gently fease.

6. “A purse” (Sh. 1908 Jak. (1928)). [ba:g]

II. v.  In phr. to bag oaf, also n. bag-off, (To begin) a sexual relationship.Sc. 2003 Sunday Times 15 Jun 5:
Where I live, a young man might express his interest by requesting a cop-off, a bag-off, a pull or a snog.
Sc. 2004 Scotsman 17 Jan 4:
Too many smokies, and the local loons will struggle to squeeze into those 60ins trousers. Then they'll never get a bag-off down the carpet disco.
Edb. 1995 Irvine Welsh Marabou Stork Nightmares (1996) 152:
The boys tried tae git ays tae take an ecky, bit ah wis jist intae Becks, eh. Besides, clubs wir jist a place tae come doon n talk aboot the swedge n mibbe bag oaf wi some fanny as far as ah wis concerned.

[O.N. baggi, a purse. The Sc. bag has a short vowel.]

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"Bag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 16 Jul 2024 <>



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